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We IMfelCOme 21 II you Beat Readers and 
writers to another classic publication of The Beat 
Within, issue 14.04. Not that I'm saying that they are 
not all classic issues, but these are some exciting times 
as we get to witness history first hand. Everything from 
the jumpstart of the New Year, to our new President, 
Pres Obama stirring things up in the White House, and 
the huge challenge of restoring the econmy, and the 
drive to get rid of the old - the Bush era, and ring in 
the new! 

As we all know, Obama has been president for a 
week, and he's already putting some big plans into 
action, like working a stimulus package, and oh how 
can 1 forget, the President signed a bill for Guantanamo 
Bay to close down. That is huge! 

For those of you who don't know Guantanamo Bay, 
it is a military prison in Cuba on USA soil and houses 
all suspected terrorists. That's not a prison where you 
don't want to be housed at. if you're in there you 
have absolutely no rights. At least wherever you may 
find yourself right now you have basic rights to food, 
clothing , and if you think you're being treated like 
an animal no,w you just don't know what goes on in 
Guantanamo Bay. 

Don't get me wrong, we're not saying that prisons 
are humane, 'cause they aren't right, at all. But at the 
very least you're alloiwed to file a grievance. 

This prison is run by the CIA and since they're 
dealing with terrorists they use special tactics when 
they question the suspects. For instance they'll poison 
the suspects with drugs, hallucinogens, with the mission 
that they get you to tell the truth, or at least what the 
powers that be want to hear. Bottom-line, they torture 
you. Basically they make you think that you're about to 
die. They drown you in water until you basically crack. 
Talk about all the shhh you have to go through to be 
a snitch. Haha, I'm just playing. Yeah but this is huge. 
And some of these inmates houses in this prison might 
not even be terrorists. Basically, if the CIA says you are 
a terrorist then you're in there. All you have to be is 
a Bush hater, but hey who doesn't like the bastard? 1 

Basically Obama took the huge step to close this 
horrendous prison, because he felt that human right 
laws were being violated and that U.S. military personnel 
were responsible for it. So he acted. Action! Now that's 
what I'm talking about. 

That's one thing that 1 look for when people like to 
talk a lot and that's action. I'm not trying to down play 
any of Obama's fame and presidency by saying he talks 
too much. On the contrary 1 know that President's have 
to talk a lot and give great speeches. But 1 am a judge 
too. And 1 judge people by their actions and not their 
words. And Obama's actions, during his first few days 
in the oval office were clearly enough for me to judge 
what his intentions are. if he cares enough about some 
people that might not even be U.S. citizen's enough to 
close down an ugly prison, then he's probably just as 
merciful on the other end. And what i mean by that is 
his next step, some time in his presidency, God willing, 
he gets there, is to start tampering with our own 
"Department of Rehabilitation and maybe close down 
some other prisons right here, like the one you sit in 
tonight. 'Cause we know that we got some inhumane 
situations and inhumane facilities right here in our own 

We got a lot of faulty situations going on in America 
right noiAf. And if Obama is the good man i think he 
is, i'm sure he's going to take on all the issues at full 
force - from the greatest to the smallest issue in our 

communities, nation as a whole. 

i don't mean to sound biased but Bush didn't do 
anything but give us a stimulus package. He spent a 
few billion on the War on Terror, and they still haven't 
found Bin Laden. Leaving the US budget in a major 
debt. They cut off money for schools, unemployment is 
at an all time high (except in Brazil), and the economy 
is dipping folks, it's dog eat dog right now. But we 
must push forward and figure out a way for us to keep 
striving for the better. We can no longer depend on 
other key figures except our own selves. We must be 
held accountable for everything we do whether it be 
right or wrong, and improve our situation. At the same 
time we have to look out for each other. Do as much 
positive as we can, so we can get some of that good 
positive karma flowing. You never know who you have 
helped. That same person you helped, might help you 
out later in life, you never know. 

Thanks Omar, we always appreciate your insights 
and thoughts on the world. 

Moving on, we have some great topics that were 
addressed in our workshops, and many of our readers 
as you will see, or have seen, wrote about... the first 
topic, "Stimulating the economy" - The President-elect 
plans to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the 
economy to create jobs and put a lot of people to work. 
He has said, "The monopoly on good ideas does not 
belong to a single party, if it's a good idea, we will 
consider it." Do you have a "good idea" for how to 
spend this money in your community? This is serious 
business, so give this some serious thought. How would 
you spend money to create jobs that puts more money 
in the pockets of more people? Lay out your plan, and 
if it's serious, we'll forward it to President Obama. 

The second topic, "Everyone's talking change, are 
you?" - With President elect Obama a couple weeks 
away from being sworn into office as President of the 
USA, much of his platform during his campaign for 
office evolved around change. Most of us recognize a 
real need for change, yet we know one person cannot 
make this a better world alone. We all have to do our 
part. So this week we ask you writers to think about 
the change that starts with you. Tell us through writing 
how your part in "change" will make you a better person 
and, hopefully, have ripple effects that make your 
community and the world a better place. So, focusing 
on yourself, what needs to change? 

The third topic, "Your own worst enemy" - For some 
reason, many of us find that we can be our own worst 
enemies. We might have an opportunity for something 
good, but we do something stupid, and lose the 
opportunity, it's like running from a group home yvhen 
you have only days left to do. Have you ever sabotaged 
yourself when things were going right for you? What 
did you do that prevented something good in your life 
from happening, and iwhy do you think you did it? Why 
do people sabotage themselves just when things might 
be changing for the better? Tell us of a time when you 
yirere your oinrn ivorst enemy. 

Before we say goodbye, do not forget our contest 
question, which was originated last week, given the 
numerous pieces we read about President Obama. The 
question is, "How does President Obama inspire you?" 
Please address these pieces to senior Beat editor Omar 
Tiircios. The top three pieces, voted on by the lead Beat 
editors, will be given $50 money orders. The deadline 
for accepting pieces is February 28, 2009. ALL the 
pieces will be featured in The Beat Within publication 
the first week of March, 2009. 

Thanks readers, this issue goes out to all you first 
time writers, thanks for believing. See you next week! 

The Beat Within 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappropriate sex 
remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enough tension in our cc 
muities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's interest to prom 
peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants 
our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you read 
not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights are reserv 
Nothing from this publication can be reproduced without our written permission. 

To our writers: What vou write could be hazardous to vou. Your words have C( 

sequences, ana c 
viewDoints with( 

ite you. iry to iiiummate your leeimgs an( 
rovidins ammunition for those who migh 

ise vour woras aeamsi vou. 

Co-founders: Sandy Close and David Inocencio 

Senior Editors: David Inocencio 

Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll, Omar Turcios 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia John- 
son, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Hanif Bey, Brenda Navarro, Sa- 
mantha Navarro, Johnny Le, Laura Vitaro, Karla Serrano, Ricky Rollins, Kendra 
Davis, Anastasia Freeman, Demarius Brown, Mon'Kesia Butler, Michaela, Ava, 
Danyal, Jeanette Beltran, Monica Carlos, Janet Lagto, Allan Tinker, Nic Reiner- 
Parra, Laura Goode, Molly Patterson, Peggy Simmons, Kirstin Dan, Angel Ryono, 
Siliva Mortenson, Kolby Hanson, Sam Peterson, Kim Nelson, Gwendolyn Hubner, 
Oscar Peiia Jr., Julia Scheinbeim, and Neela Baneriee. 

The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department Beat 
Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hiflary Shluker, M.C., Lisa 
Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Carissa Allen, Antoinette Flores, Mr. B., 
Tammie Utter, D. Scott Herrmann, Connie Pyburn, Ph. D. Clinical Director, Ph.D. 
Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Steve Sema 

Oak Hill - Washington, DC Staff: Alex Moe and Gabriel Prodder 

Fresno : Mai Der Vang, Rosie Wentz, Liliana Romero, Nigel Medhurst, Ashleigh 
Rocker, and Cindy Jenson 

Monterey : Sam Peterson and Sarah Damico 

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week. 

Spiritual Advisor: Jack Jacqua 

Special Volunteer: Nancy DeMartini 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous support 
of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs - California 
Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, Community Foun- 
dation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation of California, Comp- 
ton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foundation, Evelyn and Walter 
Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foun- 
dation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cum- 
mings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, Open Society Institute, 
Peninsula Community Foundation, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cow- 
ell Foundation, Monterey, Fresno, Solano, Oak Hill - Washington DCSan Francisco 
Arts Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W Clem- 
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Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguai 
Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foi 
Zellerbach Family Fund and indiv 

foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francisco, Mari- 
copa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio County New 
Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have any questions or 
comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to become a subscriber, con- 
tact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or cafl (415) 503-4170 or check us out at: 


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To The Beat Within 

A Beat what's up, this is Xavier again. I'm letting people 
hear know about The Beat, so we can become active in 
it. I just want to thank Steve so much for all he does for 
us and hope to meet him one day. Thanks, Steve you're 
our inspiration and I appreciate you getting my work 
published! There are so many people hear who want to 
write, I say 10 out of 21 people and that's a good start. I 
hope all of Ivy cottage will be active in "The Beat Within" 


From The Beat: Xavier, this is Steve here, and I want to let you icnow it's 
not I who should be thanked. The thanks and inspiration goes out to 
you and all the young people that write for The Beat. If it wasn't for you 
(all), I wouldn't even be helping out with The Beat. Keep writing and 
one day, I hope soon. The Beat will be up and running in full at YDDC. 


Just Memories 

Sitting in this box I start to reminisce, seeing my boys 
again is my only wish. My fallen homies gone, and I can't 
bring them back. They're all gone for life and that's a 

My homie, Andres fell to a gun, every one of them did, 
every single one. Menace, Showtime, AJ, Lil' Frank. 

It feels like a dream, but I'm awake. It seems like 
yesterday we were posted getting blown but now I know 
y'all are forever gone. It's hard 'cause y'all in a casket. 
The life y'all lived never lasted, I still got love for y'all. It 
will never stop. 

I got to maintain and stay on top. I never told y'all the 
things I needed to say 'cause I thought I would see y'all 
another day. 

Andres I seen you die, my eyes can't cry, but inside 
it eats me alive. Showtime my OG, a cop took your life, 
that's why I got so much hate for the police. 

AJ and Christan y'all took yourown life, y'all were 
under 18, this isn't right. 

Lil' Frank damn I never would of thought you would 
pass, it happens so fast I give you props cousin 'cause 
you were a Lil' G. 

Now all I can say is RIP to all the homies who are in 
the sky, I'm sorry it's y'all who had to die, but life ain't a 
movie or a game. You play but somehow some way I'll see 
y'all again one day. 

To every one who's lost someone I fell you, hang in 


From The Beat: It^ always hard when we lose a loved one or a friend. 
Don't let this loss sit with you, talk with someone to help you better 
understand death. You're not alone. 

\ I 

lo lie Beit 

A what's up Beat? It's you homie Eric also known as Lil' 
Pit, coming at you from YDDC kicking it in Ivy cottage. 

First let me tell you a little bit about myself... I'm 17 
I'm from Espanola, New Mexico I've been locked up for 2 
years because I made some mistakes in the past, but it's 
the past. I get out in a month and a half and gonna stay 

I started writing because I see my roommate Xavier 
writing. He's the first person in YDDC to write, and he's 
gonna make history one day, so I just want to thank him 
for introducing The Beat to me. I'm gonna write a poem to 
my brother who past and I just want my nephew to know 
uncle loves you, daddy is smiling at you. I love you. We'll 
hope ya'll like it, stay up, peace. 


From The Beat: Welcome to The Beat Eric! Best of luck with yoru life! 
Keep writing wherever you go. We'd love to hear more from you! 

From The Beat: This is the first installment from our new friends 
over at the YDDC (Youth Development Diagnostic Center), which is 
the youth prison for New Mexico. We want to thank the following 
writers for reaching out, and to our colleague Steve Serna who is taking 
steps in implementing a formal writing program in the YDDC, which is 
also in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. 

Gun Violence 

I've lost seven friends to gun violence since I've been 
locked up, and it's a waste of time and life. 

Two weeks ago I lost my cousin, Frank; he was only 
nineteen and died. I'm sorry that's why I'm gonna stay 
gun free. RIP primo, I love and miss you, lil Frank. 

- Xavier 

From The Beat: We at The Beat are sorry to hear about your loss. It's 
good to hear that you're going to change your life and be gun free. Do 
what you can so you don't end up like your cousin. 


Tears roU'in out of her eyes. 
God only knows how I want to cry. 
Across the table she holds my hands, 
seeing' her son almost a man. 
She did her best to raise me good, 
and she had no choice but to live in the hood. 
The things I do is not 'cause of her, 
it's my fault all the bad I learned. 
Every night she would walk two blocks 
to spend 15 minutes with me, and I don't even give her 5 
when I'm free. When I see her behind the glass, 
the short visits goes by so fast. 
Times up back to my cell, 
she holds in the tears I can always tell. 
It's wrong for me to put her through all these hard 

not ever thinking when I commit crimes. 
Now I see what I use to do and it makes me sad, filling 

The lady who carried me for nine months, 
packed my first lunch, game me love, 
always a hug never left me alone, and had me safe at 

So why do I disrespect her so bad when she's all I ever 

I pray for her every night, she's my life. 
My special mother I just want to thank, 
I love you mom, I'm sorry for all the pain.... Your son. 

- Xavier 

From The Beat: When you get out, give your mom an extra five minutes 
every day, and when your out and about with friends think of the pain 
your mother went through while you were in lock up. Do you ever want 
her to go through that again? 



We Need a Change! 

My Nightmare 

People always want to know how YDDC is, so I'm gonna 
tell y'all from my point of view as a client, and it goes like 

There's these buildings we live in we call cottages. 
There's, Ivy, Sandia, Loma, Manzano, Melagro, Espranza, 
Zia and Mesa cottage. 

I'm gonna tell you a little bit about Ivy. 6am we wake 
up for chow as we walk to the chow hall I look at the 
Mountains, their so beautiful, it's cold at this time. 

After this we come back to the cottage, and do our 
hygiene and clean. Then at about 7:30am we go to school, 
at school there's a lot of people who want to help us 
change, but will we or not. 

I think school is the best place, but worst at the same 
time. All the Teachers help us, the Principle and Assistant 
Principle Mrs. Fisher and Mrs. Hines they do so much for 
this place. 

A lot of us don't appreciate it, we fight, we blindside, 
and we jump people, why, for what? A number or to show 
were down. It makes me mad that kids have to do this, 
mostly they do it out of fear, but the staff and school staff 
still try to make it safe for us. 

After school we go to lunch, and then back to the 
cottage for the rest of the day. Shower, eat dinner, and go 
to sleep and do it all again the next day. 

Late at night I think to myself (why?) why do we do 
all this nonsense, and I can't come up with the answer. I 
wish I could, I want to help change kids. 

YDDC Does so much for us and tries to make our 
stay as good as possible for us. I mean we are locked up, 
yet we still have dances, sports, parties, and things we 
don't deserve but we still get them. I hope this place will 
change some kids. A lot of staff tells me they don't do it 
for the money, but for the fact that they might change a 
kid's life. 

Statistics say 8 of 10 kids in the Juvenile Justice 
system will go to prison. Can we change that? I hope so, 
everywhere I look I see so many young Hispanic males 
and females here. Why can't we be like the rich kids who 
never ever think about jail? Why are we the ones who want 
to run every time we see cops? Why do we sell drugs? 

I'll tell you why it's 'cause we chose to, no one makes 
us. I used to blame people for my bad life, but it's no ones 
fault I chose how I live. We still can make a change that's 
why I write to The Beat hoping it will come hear to help 
change someone. I'm the first kid to write and right now 
I have no back up on this but I know we can make the 
change. I hope that with me writing I can change some 
Juveniles life 'cause I don't' ever want to see my brother 
in here. This is why I do this, I have so many things I 
want to do to help kids and I have to start somewhere. I 
am trying to help kids while I'm locked up, my mom told 
me "you can do anything you set your mind to" So that's 
what I have to do. 

When I first got here the Deacon Mr. Balaya told me 
"you can be part of the problem or the solution." I've been 
part of the problem for a year and a half, and now I want to 
help. I know we can change, but it's just a matter of never 
giving in. 

I hope The Beat comes here to YDDC 'cause we need 
a change, and I have faith we'll get it. We just have to be 
patient and wait!!! Thank you to everyone at YDDC who 
give us support, you all have made a change and it's me. 
Thank ya'll, God Bless 


From The Beat: It sounds like a hard life to live in lock up, but it also 
sounds like your trying to make a difference while your in detention. 
With one person at a time change can happen, we all just need to be 
strong enough to want the change. Stick to your word and help make 
a difference. 

My name is Charles. I just want to tell you a lil' bit of 
how it is here in YDDC. It's not a place for any one to be. 
You are locked down most of the time, the staff act like 
there all this and that just cause they can punk kids. I 
just want to let everyone know not to come here; it's not 
a place for humans. It's like an animal caught in a cage. 

Albuquerque is where I'm from, in these streets 
there's no place to run. Got caught up with my gun, now 
I'm in YDDC were you can't have any fun. 

It's not a game if you're here, they put you to shame, 
or you have to put it down or be a punk. In here it's no 
game; if you're here you better stand your ground. In here 
it's no fun, shower with six men, locked down most of the 
time, but it's not fun. Any way's to be low down, so I hope 
none of you guy's come here to YDDC. 

- Charles 

From The Beat: We just want to let you know the two writings you sent 
in we combined together, hope you don't' mind. How long have you 
been at YDDC? Is this the first time you've been locked up? Have you 
learned anything from this experience? Is this experience going to keep 
you out of detentions in the future? 

/ hope The Beat comes 
here to iDDC 'cause 
we Keed a change, aKd I 
have faith we 11 get it 

I miss you Bro 


Somebody please tell me why my brother Phillip had to 

I miss you boy and that's no lie. 
Thanks for being there for me always by my side. 
Remember the times we use to kick it and laugh, 
it makes me smile but I now it's the past. 
Day after day you helped me out, 
showed me love without a doubt 
I remember that night I answered that call 
at that point in time my life started to fall. 
It couldn't be true, I wish it wasn't you. 
It hurt me so bad when I think about the past, 
you were only 18 
lived too fast 

mom and dad lost one of there 5 sons. 
Now it's not the same 'cause were missing one. 
I hate to see mom cry tears fall from her eyes. 
As I sit in YDDC I think about you, 
I wish it was me and not you. 
I know you smile at me from heaven. 
We'll all miss you 24/7 you left us a gift, 
it was your little baby following your brother is what 
makes me, 

so I'll say I love you bro. 

I can't wait to see, 'till that day I got to stay strong, 
keep shining brother it won't be long. 


From The Beat: We at the Beat are sorry to hear about the loss of your 
brother. Now that you have been in detention and have had to go 
through the loss of brother, is this something you would want your 
nephew to go through? If the answer is no then it^ time to get your life 
together before it^ to late. 

The Ghildren's March 

I want to go to college. History is my favorite subject. I 
was inspired by the children's march in the South. I wish 
that young children of today can get together and march 
for something that powerful. I think that the children of 
today cannot get together because of all the gang wars 
and hood beefs that are going on. 

Me myself, I will march for better jobs for teens. 
My life is like a movie, it gets badder and badder. I wish 
young children can get together once again to march for 
something so good and powerful like the children of the 
children's march. 


From The Beat: Will, we appreciate your love for history and your ability 
to be inspired by it! We definitely need people like you bringing young 
people together around important issues. Stay positive about what^ 
ahead. Life doesn't have to get worse and worse. 

(ive it III Up 


The next time I go to court is when I go home. I gave it 
up. From here I go home. I got 1 month and 3 days before 
I go home. When I touch down I will never see jail again. I 
am a whole different person now. 

When I was on level 1 I was a crazy boy. But now I am 
changed. I wish I could start my life over. I would change 
being locked up. The judicial system is all messed up. 
The only thing I fear is God. 


From The Beat: Patrick, the important thing is that you feel like you've 
changed. No need to start life over, only to make better decisions from 
here on out. Keep growing! I 

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I * 


New Home Of The President 

Washington, D.C. is where I am from 

Where working people can't sleep because of the sound 

of guns. 

Where kids can't play in the parks 'cause their father 

ain't there to watch. 

People like me can't make it in life because we don't 

follow our hearts. 

If we can follow our hearts we can be something in life, 

that's the 

Best part. 


From The Beat: This is a great rhyme, Kevin. It sounds like you know 
what your problem has been in the past. Now, nothing to it but to do it! 
Follow your heart and pursue your goals. 


I would like to forgive 

All my peers that got kids 

I know it's hard to get home so 

I'm thinkin' why should I live? 

30 day hits feel more like 

30 years. Damn I'm sittin here 

Wondering, sheddin' tears. 

Make a ninja want to go home and 

Drink a 12 pack of beer. 

But that ain't my style, 

I would rather shoot a deer. 

So I would like to forgive 

All my people that is here. 

-Lir Truck 

From The Beat: Tl-uck, we love this rhyme. You give us a sense of what 
you and your peers are going through, and we like the support you offer 
your peers. What are some other strategies you can use to deal with 
things, besides 1 2 packs of beers and shooting deer? 

Give it Ail Up 

Damn it's hard to give it all up. 

I can't even stay out 6 months 

To go to the mall up on the streets it ain't 

Nothin but small bucks. 

So I don't see why ninjas don't give it all up 

My mamma keep askin me when I'm gonna change 

I said I can't 'cause the streets keep callin' my name 

But on the real tip I'm tired of livin' this life 

Just to hang with certain people you got to earn a stripe 

But it's all right, you could just do what I did 

Guess what I gave it all up for my kids!!! 


From The Beat: Jeremy, this is a wonderful piece. Your words are 
powerful and they make the readers feel the struggle you're going 
through. Giving it up for your kids is definitely the smart decision. 
How will you fight temptation when it comes along? Remember your 
priorities and what^ most important to you. 

Giving It Ail Up 

I've been through a lot of stuff coming up in the life of 


I once thought nothing but just god could stop me. 

I seen some of my men get killed and their faces put on 


That just made me get out on my shhh, go out and do 


Sometimes I just want 

To reverse my life. 

Deposit the ones I love and do what's right. 

It's never too late to make a really smart change 

In life I use to run the streets by code and use 


Me keep getting locked up, I been had enough 

My family or the street, this choice can be tough. 

I love my family too much 

So I gave the 

Streets up. 


From The Beat: Daniel, this is a great one. We think admire your love for 
your family and you made the right decision. Family is important, and 
it^ much better to be with your family than on the streets or locked up. 
How will you avoid the temptation of the streets in the future? Make 
I a plan. 

The Power That Guns Have 

Guns have power. 

Guns can take life and guns can also save life. 

It's the way they are used and what they are used for that 

makes it become violence. 

Gun violence is what's destroying the communities 


Mainly it's the youth committing crimes due to the gun. 

Nowadays people run to the gun to solve their problems 

which is tough. 

That's not making the situation better it just might make 

it worse. 

It depends on the situation, the only way I use ammo is if 

it's life or death. 

I don't fall victim to the gun because that's not what 

makes you a man or a better person. So stop the violence, 

stay away from the tool, 

'cause if you fall victim you will be the fool. 

-Fly Ty Frontliner 

From The Beat: Fly Ty, you speak on it well. Guns are certainly powerful, 
but they aren't what make a person and they rarely, if ever, solve 
problems. In addition to sharing wisdom the way you have here, what 
can we do to address what guns are doing to the community? 

Girls effln' for money 

Brothas wantin' hundreds 

I've been here 10 times 

It's easy to say 

That I'm a take a urine 

Show up at court 

My early childhood 

Playin' on dirty mattresses 

Steppin on bloody needles 

Been through it all 

The ups and the downs and the falls 

Win, lose or draw 

I still strive for the best. 

But when I get out, six months from now 

I need to be smarter 

Like having a pistol with a license 

'Cause it's not safe these days 

You step out on the corner 

Missing innocent people 

Everyday, dyin' for nothing 

Like little girls 

I work so hard for what I want 

Like, I work so hard to have my seed 

And I be damned, if I let someone 

Take that — my boy. 

My girl seven months pregnant 

I need to be there for my baby boy 

Like my dad wasn't there for me 

My momma was there for us five children 

It's effed up 

I had to step up at 13 years old 

I had to hustle to put food on the table 

It was hard being poor 

That's my life story right there. 

I'm 19 years old, it's gonna get better 

I've been living that lifestyle for seven years 

It's gotta get better 

Thank you Dave, from The Beat 

I'm Garret from the Heights 

This is dedicated to the whole world. 

Listening to me. 

Thank you. 


From The Beat: Garret, thanks for sharing. It's important to tell your 
story and make plans for what's ahead. We like your optimism and we 
agree, "it^ gonna get better." What plans can you put into place to help 
it happen? I 

Me Being Cool 

do I 
tive I 

Give It All Up 

Basically giving it all up to me means trying to do 
something new with yourself, trying to change negative 
to positive. 

Sometimes I do be thinking about giving everything 
up, like the cars, money, girls and more stuff too, but 
once you start doing whatever you was doing, it becomes i 
addictive, cause that's the only thing you're used to I 

If I ever give it up though, I still think I ain't got nothing 
to lose, 'cause I'm school smart, and street smart, and 
that's something big to have, and I play football, and I'm 
nice in doing it. I think it will be good for me, and my 
family, to make a positive change. 

-Lil* Mike 

From The Beat: We think so too, Mike! It sounds like you've thought 
about this, and you know that habits can be hard to change. But you 
seem ready to do it, and you have confidence, which is important. 

I got to pay dues to live 

In the good shoes 

Stay in a positive mood 

Stay away from them other dudes 

So I can't break rules 

And finish school 

So I can be cool 

Instead of lose 

Life can make you have 

The bad blues 

Make you want to lose your cool 

Do something real crude. 

Give it all you got 

Be a positive dude. 


From The Beat: Broderick, we like we like that you're focused on staying 
positive and finishing school. What are your goals for the future to 
"live in the good shoes?" How will you do it without getting in trouble? 
Follow your own advice: don't lose your cool, fight the blues, and stay 

When I Get Out 

When I go home to DC, I want to play basketball in the 
parks and go to Florida International University, study 
graphics and arts — I like to draw. When I get out I want 
to go to Golden Corral. I'm going to order salad, cookies 
and ice cream. I'm going to go with my sister. Diamond. 
She miss me, I miss her. It's been 5 months since I been 
home. I'm home-sick — Need to see my whole family. Need 
to get back to my own bed. Need peace and quiet. Want 
my family over my house to visit. Chill with my family, be 
safe with my family. 


From The Beat: Kevin, this is a great plan. It^ good to set goals for 
yourself. Now that you have these goals, keep developing your plans. 
Also, have a strategy for how you'll face the challenges when things 
don't go according to plan. One things for sure, you have too many big 
things ahead to spend more time incarcerated. Thanks for writing. 

[ Sick and Tired 


I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired 

I'm sick and tired of being down Oak Hill 

I'm sick and tired of poppin E pills 

I'm sick and tired of being labeled a criminal 

I'm sick and tired of going to a funeral 

I'm sick and tired of watching my back 

I'm sick and tired of having my mom cry 

I'm sick and tired of thinking I might die 

I'm sick and tired of hustling for the next dollar 

I'm so sick and tired it makes me wanna holler 

I'm sick and tired of drama down here 

I'm sick and tired of everybody in my ear 

I'm sick and tired of not having a dad 

I'm sick and tired of being so sad 

I'm sick and tired of worrying bout my sister 

And mother 

I'm sick and tired because I want a big brother 

I'm sick and tired of going for jobs and not getting hired 

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired 


From The Beat: Decole, this is a powerful, honest piece. There is a lot to 
be sick and tired of. Some things are in your control, some are not. What 
can you do to change the things that you do have control over? What 
are the things that encourage you and keep you going? Hold those 
things close and stay positive. The fact you're noticing the things that 
you are says a lot about your heart and intelligence, and we think good 
things are ahead. 

Learning from Past 

What I Fear 

I think I'm learning from the past now, being in here. 
Learning from the past is gathering up all the wrong 
things you did, and doing them smarter, or not at all. Like 
hustling on a corner, and the jump-outs hop out every 
day, and you get caught most of the time. You learn from 
that, by not being right there at the wrong time, or at all. 
I think I'm going to learn from the past though, cause 
whatever I do it probably don't be right, but at least I'm 
going to do it smart. 

-Lil* Mike 

From the Beat: We don't know, Mike, this philosophy worries us a little 
bit. The problem is that often, you don't know it^ the wrong time until 
after the fact. You never know when things can fall apart. Is it worth 
the risk to get caught up again, trying to do things smart? Or is it worth 
your time to do things right? 

Rnund Here 


Oak Hill getting tough down here 

When you trying go home I guess you out of luck down 


Staff spittin' in the soup down here 

We say we grown men but it's nothin' but youth down 


You will never get the truth down here 

They stackin' incident reports to try to get some proof 

down here 

I wish I had a gun to shoot down here 

We do the same shhh, it's like we goin' in a loop down 



From The Beat: As usual, you've shared a great rhyme. Your frustration 
comes across powerfully, but we also really respect the way that you're 
able to recognize the cycles that repeat themselves. You may wish you 
had a gun in the moment, but you're also aware that that might be just 
"goin in a loop." How can you break the cycle? 

Tn Forgive 

I think to forgive is to open up, and let everything go 
between you and that individual. 

I think to forgive is to accept, I think to forgive is for 
everything to be kept, 

I think to forgive is to come together, I think to forgive 
is to be in this world forever. 

-Lil* Mike 

From the Beat: Mike, we like this because forgiveness is a powerful 
act and your piece really conveys that. How do you let everything go? 
Sometimes it^ easier said than done. 


Learning From Tiie Past 

If I would have learned 

From the past 

I would have learned when my mother 

First whipped my ass 

Back when I used to steal her cash 

Now I know it was 

Her last. I wish I could 

Have learned from my past 

But I was moving too fast 

See if my past was like 

My future maybe I would be 

Dead and gone like Luther 


From The Beat: Paul, we definitely get the sense from this poem that 
you're learning from your past, and this is a great rhyme. We also like 
that you don't expect your future to be like your past. What^ the plan 
to make sure you avoid making the same mistakes? 

I fear the heights of a rollercoaster high in the air, I fear 
death but I don't fear guns, I fear my dreams at night 
sometimes cause I think sometimes I'm in danger. I fear 
the streets. Cause I know I have to walk them with all this 
beef. Sometimes I fear myself cause I don't know what I 
might do or think about or get into. That's what I fear. 


From The Beat: Mechee, these are some very real fears. But you can 
address some of these fears head on. For example, you don't have to 
walk the streets with beef. And if you fear yourself and the decisions you 
make, you can work on making better decisions. You've acknowledged 
the fears, now you can face them. 

I'm illiy Brntiier's Keeper 

I will do anything for my brother 

No matter what it may be, 

I promised myself I will always be there 

Whenever there's heat 

There's nothing that can get between me and my 


That's how much love we got and share for each other. 

We argued and fought from time to time 

Some times I just wish I can press rewind 

Whenever there's war we are prepared to fight 

I'm my brother's keep and our love is tight. 


From The Beat: Daniel, we get a good sense of your love for your brother. 
But besides being there for him when there^ heat, or going to war for 
him, how can this love be shared? The goal is to show love not only in 
times of conflict, but also in times of peace! 


Your Own Worst Enemy 

You are your own worst enemy. You make yourself 
happy, mad, and sad. You debate with yourself what you 
wanna do, and if it's bad, you have screwed up. So you 
talk about it with yourself, then you argue, then you go 
crazy because you messed up and didn't go with your 
instincts of doing something else. 

I know this kid, 3.33 GPA, on track to graduate, and 
does these robberies and gets sent to YGC. Goes to court 
and finds out he's getting 707 and he sees no sign of 
getting out. See, at this point, he ruined his chances of 
getting to college now, because he go to school at YGC. 

-Snaxx, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We like how you describe the arguments you have with 
yourself when you make bad choices — and, especially, when you get 
caught for those bad choices. We also like the example, but we're not 
sure what you mean when you say he ruined his chances to go to college 
because he's in the YGC school. Do you mean you don't learn anything 
here, or that colleges won't allow him in if they know he studied here? 
We don't think his chances for college are ruined, though he did make 
things much harder for himself. Thanks for this. 

My Life at Stake 

I had an opportunity to walk away. 

But instead I chose to stay. 

I should have chose a path and walked that way. 

That's why you see me here today. 

I did the crime. 

Now the time is the way I have to pay. 

While I'm up here, all I can do is pray. 

It 's gon' be hard in this world because of my race. 

At school I mess up 

so much that the teacher don't want to see my face. 

God gave me legs so I'm going to walk my own pace, 

I walk slow because my life is not a race. 

I know here, in juvenile hall, isn't my place, 

I have my own mind, 

I made the mistake. 

My life at stake, 

I think in here, it's a waste. 

I'm going to get out soon so I guess I'm going to wait 

But right now a change is what I got to make, 

I guess my other changes was fake. 

At first I was asleep, now I'm awake. 

-Tyrell, Alameda 

From The Beat: This was an awesome piece. You said that your life was 
not a race then why play it like a game? Sitting and waiting in Juvie 
is like playing the waiting game; waiting to get sentenced, waiting for 
you visits, your meals, your LIFE. We know that you have the creativity 
in you and we hope that this change will be for real and not for "fake"! 
We have faith that you can change, but will you stick to your goals in 
the long run? We're pulling for you! 


Hey what's good. Beat? Me, nothing, just waitin' day 
by day for the judge to sentence me... but since Obama 
became president we should see a lot of change. 

I think that Obama should put money towards more 
after school program, or programs that could help us 
juveniles stay out of here. What we don't realize is that 
the county of Santa Clara is pimping all of us... They 
making so much money by having us here... 

Who ever was the genius that made juvies, jails, 
CYA's, is making bank... And we don't even realize it. 
What people fail to realize is that if we had something 
to do in the afternoons and evenings we wouldn't be in 
here... Adults is always telling us we need to get into 
something... But what is there to get into but trouble? 

I'm not saying we can't just not get into trouble but 
most of us get bored and have nothing to do. I'm hoping 
Obama will make a change but we can't all count on it. 
They already tryna take all athletic programs from the 
eastside district... Now what you think that's going to 
lead to?! Nothing but trouble. It's going to cause more 
teens to get into trouble 'cause now they really ain't got 
nothing to do. That leads to, once again, the county of 
Santa Clara or wherever you from pimping us. So Obama, 
I'm hoping you spend that Gouda on something that we 
need and not on stupid shhh like Bush did. Well to all, 
stay up... and Fame, I love you, skim ha-ha... 

-Faith, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We agree with you. Faith, the government needs to 
stop building jails and juvenile detention centers and try spending the 
money on important issues e.g. school funding and activity centers. 
Spending money to build more prisons and juvies is wasteful and it 
shows that they don't have faith in their peers to change. What do 
you think we can do to make these politicians see what we really need 
instead of them giving us what they think we need? 

Sioiolating The Econooiy 

I feel that money should be spent on schools and after 
school activities. I believe this because these things should 
be funded because children are the future. Children need 
school to gain knowledge and have a better future. 

After school activities are also important because 
kids need something to keep them busy on their time off. 
Both things are very important because if the children 
go to school and then on their spare time get involved in 
bad things such as gangs and drugs, there wouldn't be no 
point of the school. 

A child with knowledge and not involved with drugs 
or gangs has a good future. Then many children like 
this mean a better world. Like they say you have to kill 
a problem from the root and preventing it is even better. 
Children are the roots of the future. 

-Tina, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: These are great ideas, Tina, really thought through. 
Yes, schools are useless if we aren't keeping our future presidents and 
CEO^ out of trouble but what do you think about people who say it^ the 
parent's job to keep their kids busy in the afternoons? 

Children Meed school 
to galM knowledge and 
have a hetter future. 

To My Mother 

As we walk this life together 

I will always hold your hand. 

Always loving and protecting you 

Is something that I want you to understand. 

We have lifted up and matured together 

In many different ways. 

Our love is so incredible 

And it holds so many strengths. 

As we walk this walk together 

I will do anything to make you smile. 

I promise to make you laugh if you are sad. 

As we walk this life together 
I will show you how true love 
Is supposed to be. 

As we walk this life together, 

You will see how you can count on me. 

As we walk this life together 

Remember that it began on April 15th, 1994. 

And on that special day, 

Cupid shot two arrows and didn't miss at all. 

So always know that I love you. 

You are my only queen 

And I promise to always cherish you 

And protect you 

As we walk this life together. 

In difficult moments... seek God 

-Pretty Boy Bookman, Fresno 

From The Beat: We think that this is one of the most touching dedications 
to mothers we have %een in a while. We are glad that you respect her, 
but showing goes a lot farther than just telling. 

Becoming A Whole New, Better Person 

Hey Beat, it's ya lady, T.T, aka Ladie-T. You asked what 
about me that needs change to possibly make me a better 
person. There are a lot of things about me that needs 

I know I need to change my eating habits for one, I eat 
nothing but junk food.(LOL) Naw, but on the serious side 
though, I need to change my actions. I need to change 
my whole way of thinking, because I know if I don't, I'ma 
continue to go downhill and end up just like everyone 
else in my family, a bunch of jailbirds with no permanent 
roof over their heads. 

I know if I do change my faults, it'll make my life a 
whole lot easier. If I go to a whole new environment (which 
is what they're going to do to me), make new friends and 
just really get my shhh together, and start thinking about 
my future since I only got two years left to do. So, I'll 
come out on top of my game, and have all this shhh in my 
past, become a nurse and move on with my life. 

So yeah, that's my plan for change. Beat, switch my 
whole way of living up. In two years I'ma be a whole new 
better person, grown and ready for the world. Gone. 

-Ladie-T, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Well, LT, it's clear that you know what to do. Only 
time will tell whether you're able to couple that knowledge with 
determination and action. If you follow your plan, then your future 
will so much better than your past. Becoming a nurse is a very noble 
ambition — to help others — and we hope you don't disappoint us... or 
yourself! Good luck! 

This Place Is Lonely 

Most people in the outside world my age I know that 
hasn't been locked up in juvenile hall before, think of this 
place as scary, like prison. But the thing is, it' not scary. 
There are no threats of being mistreated. The worst thing 
about this place is the loneliness. You are by yourself 
most of the time, surrounded by four walls and a window 
that you can't see out of. There is no real connection to 
the outside world. Yes, you can make a collect phone call 
once a night, but chances are your friends, parents, won't 
pay for it. And, yes, you can get visits twice a week, but 
the people that can come, you don't necessarily want to 
see. You stay up all night, thinking about the people you 
would die for and do anything to spend time with. 

My nightly phone call is a joke. You can only make 
collect calls to landlines and I don't know who to call. My 
mom only has a cell phone; my grandparents just moved; 
my aunt and I aren't talking; and the person all sixteen 
year old girls want to talk to the most, my boyfriend, he 
only has a cell phone. 

My visiting days are useless. I don't want my aunt to 
come, or my mom, and I wouldn't have much to talk about 
with my grandma. I don't think I could handle watching 
my grandma walk out of that door, set free, while I get 
escorted back to my dimly lit cell. 

Some people think that they're lonely before they 
come in here, but what they don't realize is that you have 
the trees, birds, and your freedom. I would do anything to 
have them. 

-Anonymous By Choice, Marin 

From The Beat: It sounds to us like you have issues with loneliness not 
just in this isolated setting, but even on the outs, with your auntie 
and mom. So isn't your real challenge figuring out why that is? All 
relationships are difficult, including family relationships. They require 
both give and take, both following our own path and accommodating 
the path of others. What is standing in the way of your closest 
relationships? You clearly have stn excellent mind. You can analyze and 
write clearly. So give us the benefit of that analysis in another clearly 
written piece. 


My Own Worst Enemy 

I've had plenty of great opportunities in my life to change. 
I believe I've sabotaged my whole teenage life. I mean, I 
was doing good in elementary and some of middle school. 
I don't want to brag, but I believe I'm a real intelligent 

I try hard in school, but my other side of my loves to 
party and loves the street life. I know if my mind never 
ventured to that crazy life, then I would be out enjoying 
my life. I would have actually made time for my family. 

To me, time is of the essence at the moment,. Because 
I'm in her and the world is movin' on without me. 

A time when I was my own worst enemy was when I 
had plans with my mom to move on, and I had a kickback 
at my pad with like 12 people. I drank a little too much, 
and the instincts of getting money kicked in. So me and 
my homeboy dipped out and stole a car. We drove around 
'til we saw an ATM machine. We parked like a block away 
and waited. A dude came and we robbed him for five bills. 
We drove back to my pad, and three days later we dipped 
out to a different state. 

Just to make a long story short, the guy we robbed got 
messed up pretty bad, and they caught me in the other 
state. They sent me back to California on an airplane, and 
now I'm here, facing about six years in prison. If I never 
did that, then I would be free and enjoying life. And those 
six years that I could've done would never exist. 

That is how I'm my own worst enemy. I made the 
choice to do bad, and now I'm paying for those poor 

Well, stay up to all the homeboys, and RIP to all the 
fallen soldiers. From the homie in the max. 

-Change, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We don't think you're bragging to say that you're 
intelligent. Intelligence is not something you're responsible for. You're 
either born with it or not, and it^ obvious that you were born with it. 
But as you have discovered, intelligence, by itself, is not enough. It 
must be coupled with a determination to succeed, and a sense of honor 
to do right by those you love and yourself. Just as you have been your 
own worst enemy at times, you can be your own best friend now, by 
recognizing that there is life after prison — even six years of prison — 
and that by using your intelligence to help others instead of hurting 
them also helps yourself and those you love. You have it in you to be 
somebody truly special. Now it's time to be that person. 

My Own Worst Enemy 

Before this New Year I was my worst enemy. I had a nice 
environment and had both parents in the home. Well, 
my dad and step-mom. I was sort of the down fall in my 
family. My mother got sentenced to prison for a few years 
and I couldn't handle it. I stopped playing sports, stopped 
participating in family activities etc. 

I started running away from home just when 
something good happened such as my dad got a bonus 
on a pay check but I would get arrested and all the extra 
money would have to go to juvenile hall. So I was my 
worst enemy in my own eyes, but even though I pulled 
my family down with me. They still never gave up on me. 

They come see me all the time and still provide what 
they can. I'm thankful for that. This year is gonna be 
different though I'm gonna help my family any way that 
I can and I'm not gonna get in the way too much. It will 
just be a smooth year. But it won't really start till I get 
out. I know, it sound real good. ..Now just watch me back 
it up... 

-Rob/Poohda, Solano 

From The Beat: We wish you all the luck with your resolution to do well! 
It sounds like you had a lot of feelings about your mom and dad, and 
weren't always in control of your actions. The more you can deal with 
your feelings the more free you will be to make good decisions. We're 
glad your family supports you! Believe in yourself! 

Done With Lying 

Peanutt's here once again, and I'm my own enemy. The 
reason why is because I had plans with my wife and 
family. Those plans and dreams were stolen from me just 
because I did a carjacking. Yeah, some might look at this 
and say, "Why would you put your charge out there like 

The reason is because I'm done with lying to myself 
plus to others. I guess I could say I'm a changed man, 
inside and out. The old me is dead and the new me is 

So, about me having plans, my plans were to be 
a brother to my sisters, a son to my mother, plus my 
father. Also a husband to my lady,,, and be the father to 
my future kids. I guess I wanted that life I been running 
away from all these years. So I'm going to try to restart 
my life from scratch when I get out, and be the man to 
say, "I completed my dreams," not the one to say, "I had a 

I know that my family's by my side and my wife will 
wait for me. I love you. Precious. It's a always and forever 

-Peanutt, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: For some reason, this unit offers some of the deepest 
thinkers in The Beat. We admire and honor everything you've written 
in this heartfelt piece. We would love to know what you think has led 
to this about-face in your thinking, so that instead of running from the 
life you had, you're now running to it. We hope your words inspire you 
to follow through, as they inspire us to want you to! 

Stimuiating Tlie Economy 

The president is talking about spending tons of money 
to go towards jobs and to help people to work. I really feel 
like if the president helped with more things like gang-free 
programs this place would be a much better place. This 
world I filled with lots of intelligent people that just made 
the wrong choices. Like me for instance. Jasmine. 

I was born and raised in Fresno, California. I'm the 
middle child of three. I once attended Washington Union 
High School but I got expelled for bringing a knife onto 
school grounds. They would have let me stay if it was 
a small pocket-knife but it was a 21cm kitchen knife. 
Ever since then I started feeling like no one in the family 
loved me the same. I started to think what can I do to get 
attention and it seemed like getting into trouble was the 
only way I would be recognized. I'm starting to change my 
way because I have been in JJC for a couple of days and 
I've already learned my lesson and that is, I do not want 
to live a life behind bars. 

President Barack Obama, please accept this letter I'm 
writing because I really believe that this will help me and 
a lot of other juveniles choose a better life. Just look, we 
need other options. There are many good things in life, 
not like going to Juvenile hall, jail, prison or even worse, 
be killed or hurt in a bad way. I'm my own worst enemy 
because I was suppose to graduate in January and a day 
before I got dropped for not attending my SARB meeting 
and skipping school. I really think it's stupid that it 
happened that way. If there was anything I could change, 
I would. 

-Jasmine, Fresno 

From The Beat: We appreciate you sending your concerns and 
suggestions to the President. We also agree with you that there needs 
to be more gang-free programs. We think there is a lot more than can 
be done to help teenagers but regardless of what is done in the way of 
programs, there is always thing s we can do to improve our situations. 
You mentioned repeated bad decisions you made. We feel it is beneficial 
to examine these situations and to think about the decision process 
we went through. How did we decide? Did we even decide or did we 
just react? These are ways we believe we can improve our situation 


My Soul is Still Hole 

Hey Beat, this is Karmeisha 

Tomorrow is the big day 

What will my social worker say 

What will they do? 

Will they make me pay? 

Seems like I'm dreamin' 

Time go by quick 

Fast like a NASCAR 

Change the channel 

Pass that shhh 

I'm still breathing 

My pops grieving 

So he chose the bottle 

Killing himself softly with his drugs 

And let the demons 

Get to him 

and his mind 

And drive him crazy like a crack baby 

I know my homegirl 

Miss me 

She the only one who 

Writes to me 

And will ride or die for me 

I seen it with my own eyes before 

My uncle 

Say keep my head up 

Though he ain't the one locked up 

Pops ain't here 

When the money starts roUin' 

That's when he will wanna be near 

Grandpa said I won't be nothing 

I say 

I will prove you wrong 

Haha I will show you something 

Ma don't care 

Doin' her thing 

Getting' high off trees 

Ain't even in my life to be there 

That's OK 

I will shine 

And when I do 

I might just leave my haters behind 

All I got is me, God and the air to breathe 

When I look up at the sky 

Sometimes I cry 

Wonder why 

My ninja tell lies 

Though I love 

& Still will be by his side 

'Cause I'm a solid female 

and nobody can break me 

unless you kill me 

But my soul will still be whole 

Shinin' in the sky. 

-Karmeisha, Alameda 

From The Beat: Nobody can break you - but you can break yourself 
if you let anyone drag you down (and that includes your man... don't 
let yourself be brainwashed into thinking that you need to be "solid" 
with someone if he doesn't cherish you!) Just reread these words and 
appreciate the talent and heart of the person who wrote them - she 
deserves the best! 

The Streets 

In the morning I wake up and look at the new day. 

I go outside and look at the dogs barking, and make sure 

that no one is creeping up. 

I would take a cigarette out, spark it up, and walk down 
the street. 

As I walk down the street, someone is getting beat up, 
and then gets shot. 

I keep walking as I see the cops racing down the street. 
Yeah, it was murder, but it is something that I see every day. 
The life of a gangsta is hard but these are the streets of 

-Lalo, Fresno 

From The Beat: The streets will never change as long as people turn the 
other cheek and pretend not to see the pain all around them, and help 
it to change. 

Sorry Mom 

Now I'm locked up so I switched my mentality 

I turned my life to God and don't care if people mad at 


It's gonna be sad to see but I'm gonna test my trust 

I'm gonna start off slow and throw away the drugs 

No more drugs I'm tired of that crap 

Because of that hit I treated moms like an itch 

And lost a relationship that was hard to come by 

I don't believe I did it for that stupid high 

And yes you cried and had a baby in your tummy 

Now I understand you only did it because you loved me 

Now no one trusts me and I have a bad state of mind 

I just wish I had a chance to truly apologize 

But it is too late there are no second tries 

I really messed up telling too many lies 

You probably want me to die I'm sorry to say 

That your first-born son came out the wrong way 

-Tayion, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thank you for writing such a powerful and honest poem. 
You end up hurting those who love you most when you're locked up, or 
doing bad things. If your mom is a forgiving person, we think she will 
feel your honesty and remorse, through your words. Keep using those 
words to connect with her, to rebuild that relationship, and maybe as a 
first step you should send her a copy of this poem. 

The Sltuatlofl We're Ifl 

I think that the President should make a change right 
away and stop wasting everybody's money on building 
prisons and start building more jobs and schools for 

I say that because when everybody starts to see that 
there's more prisons than school is really a negative 
thought knowing that the government is setting up our 
country on failure. 

There should be more jobs because the reason some 
people do crime is because they need money and they 
have a hard time getting hired. If there's more jobs built 
and more schools made everybody would have a positive 
attitude knowing that they have a chance on being 
someone in life. 

If a good change were to happen on making this 
country better like building schools and building more 
jobs I guarantee that there would be less crimes committed 
than there is today. 

-Chow Main, Solano 

From The Beat: We appreciate that you care about everybody in society, 
and want to see changes that will help everyone feel that they have 
a chance! We know that more education means less prison. It is said 
that the number of prison beds planned is based on the number of kids 
who can't read in 4th grade! Let^ hope we see some progress with the 
new President! 


Our Doom, It Looms 

To rappers, jackers, finger snappers 

Who (w)rap us, jack us, and brain snatch us 

With gangbanging, slang slinging, bling-blinging 

I ask: 

Does trigga only rhyme with ninja? 

Go black boy, it's ya birthday 

So give birth to a new day 

Richard Wright talked right, right? 

Did that make him white? Hell, naw 

So stop frontin' and get backin' up off 

The booty-bouncin', car jackin' gun poppin' 

Way you livin' 

Let's blow up, boom 

Let's grow up, soon 

Our doom, it loons 

In the city it go down 

Ninjas hittin' the ground for nothin' 

Gun rockin', awe-shockin' soldiers 

On the wrong battle ground 

Ain't nothin' 

The 5.0s, the POs 

Got us all on lockdown 

Like we nothin' 

The cell, a small hell 

My head spinnin' round 

I can't feel nothin' 

Full grown, home alone 

No queen wearin' my crown 

Built nothin', girls hoUerin' 

Moms cryin', they mouth making no sound 

Lived nothin' 

Let's blow up, boom 
Let's grow up, soon 
Our doom, it looms 

What if her smile was the trigga 

To why you dig her? 

What if a book was the trigga 

That made you think bigger? 

What if a drunk drive was the trigga 

For you to quit liquor? 

Again, I ask: 

Does trigga only rhyme with ninja? 


-Fresh, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We love your list of "What if" questions, because they 
remind us that any experience can trigger a change. This is a reminder 
to all that everything has consequences — including positive ones that 
come from positive deeds. What have been your "triggers" for change? 
What books have inspired you? What experiences have changed you? 
What will this experience trigger in you? This is a terrific poem. 

Stone by Stone 

I have a wall you cannot see 

Because it is deep inside of me. 

It blocks my heart on every side 

And helps emotions there to hide. 

You can't reach in 

I can't reach out 

And so you wonder what it's all about. 

The wall I built in which you cannot see 
Results; all made from insecurity. 
Each time my tender heart was hurt 
The wounds within grew worse and worse. 
So stone by stone 
I architected a wall. 
That is now so rebellious 
It will not fall. 

Please understand that it's not you; 
Continue trying to break through. 
I want so much to show myself 
And love from you will really help. 

So stone by stone 
Please chip at my wall 
Until stone by stone; 
It starts to fall. 

I know the process will be slow 

Because the past is never easy to let go; 

Of harms and failures long ingrained 

Upon one's heart from years of pain. 

I'm oh so puzzled 

Should I honestly let you in? 

I've thought about regrets and consequences 

I know I might get hurt again 

I've tried so hard to break the wall 

But seem to get nowhere at all 

For stone upon each stone I've stacked 

I've left between them not a crack 

The only way to make it fall 

Would be the imperfections within the wall. 

I did the best I could to build a perfect wall 

But there it still remains a few flaws 

Which is the key 

To breaking through this wall to me. 

Please use each flaw 

To at least cause a crack 

This will allow you to knock at least one stone 

Off of each stack. 

For just as stone by stone was laid 

Along with every wound filed with pain 

Stone by stone the wall shall break 

As the power of love 

Replaces every ache 

Please be the one 

Who cares enough 

To find the fiaws, no matter what. 

-Lamarr, Alameda 

From The Beat: It^ fitting that your best poem would be the last one 
you write for us from incarceration. We hope that we will see you in 
our offices. 



Change means a lot to me. The reason it means so much 
for me is because I first came to JJC on March 25, 2008 
for 3 counts for three counts of robbery and 7 counts of 
assault with a deadly weapon. I was a very angry, addicted, 
and selfish person. 

Well I told my family I was gonna change, but I was 
addicted to the fast life, fast money, and power. My 
actions soon led to me getting a second strike and a CYA 
Commitment. This really opened my eyes about what I 
was going to do with my life and if I would live to see 
sixteen. I changed my mindset and my way of reasoning 
with things. I decided I don't want to fight over little stuff, 
and when I get mad I just think about the consequences 
before I act and the pain I will cause my family if I fight. 

When I came in this time I didn't break the law of 
any rules. My PO dropped my YA Commitment because I 
didn't run. 

-Casper, Alameda 

From The Beat: We are impressed by your determination and self- 
discipline, and hope you can stick with it. It won't be easy, but you have 
shown that you have what it takes! 


I'm thinking bout changing 

the life I live and staying out 

of harms way goin to church more 

often and guide my younger sibling 

the right way to go and not follow 

me down the path I'm going cause 

it's ugly in the street and now 

it took me 22 times to get locked up 

for me to realize that I'm messing up 

And I would like to change it 

-Babino, Solano 

From The Beat: We wonder what pushed you over the edge this time 
and made you see you want to change? Think about the way you make 
decisions, and how you can do that differently this time. After 22 times 
people may not believe you, so don't look to others for encouragement. 
Keep a goal or idea of yourself in the front of your mind that you can 
remember every day. You can change your life anytime you want. Good 

It Was All Going Good, Until... 

When I'm done with my bottled water or soda can, I 
throw it in the recycling bin. I think if we recycle we can 
save money. 

Just a month ago, I started trying good in school. I 
actually tried to do my homework before I even watch TV. 
I slept earlier just so I wouldn't be late. I stopped being 
lazy, carried my books instead of going to my locker. That 
wasted time and I was late. The consequences were my 
bad grades. 

Finally, after I worked hard I got winter break. When I 
got back, I found out I was being locked up for something 
I did a month ago. I forgot to return something and 
that messed me up. I should be studying for the finals 
next week. Hopefully I can get out soon, deal with the 
suspension I got from school, and make it for the rest 
of the finals. I messed myself over. But if I get released 
soon without delay, I still got two-three days for finals, 
and during my suspension, I'm going to study. 

-Bailey, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Sometimes, even the smallest mistakes can throw us off 
course, and force us to take a detour to get back on course. It sounds 
like that is what happened to you, so we have faith that you will be able 
to continue on the excellent path you were on to finish school. We learn 
things from every experience (not just in school), so we know you've 
learned something from this experience that you can put to good use 
when you get back on track. Good luck. 

Skip's Broadcast: 

Stimnlating tlie Ecnnomy Witli Change 

Beat! You know me. Skip, broadcastin' in HD (high 

But yeah, we hear all the time — mainly just in the 
last eight years — about how change is going to happen 
in the United States, and Bush was right; it was change. 
We saw gas prices sky rocket to damn near five dollars, 
thousands of people were laid off from their jobs, and last 
but not least, the ongoing recession. 

The recession got so bad. Young Jeezy named his 
album after it. But hopefully Barack Obama will live up to 
his change slogan when he get into office, because we for 
surely needed it in 2008 and we still need it. I done took 
the liberty of merging these two topics into one, so I'ma 
elaborate on both. 

The economy is in the recovery stages of a financial 
crisis and Obama is talking about pumping money 
(billions of dollars) into the economy to create jobs. Now, 
I ain't jumpin' for joy just yet until it happens. I have some 
ideas on how to spend this money constructively: open 
more recreational centers for children and teens due to 
the street war that's going on. People shouldn't have to 
fear for their life going into another neighborhood, so 
make it available to them. Jobs for convicts. Just because 
of the past they had, it's more based on the future. Jobs 
for teens (more jobs than it is) with the job readiness 
option included. 

A lot of those have had an effect on me because 
I felt with those options available I wouldn't be in the 
predicament that I'm in and hopefully those will change 
my future plans. 

-Skip, San Francisco 

From The Beat: These two topics are, in truth, already merged. One 
affects the other. You've clearly thought about this. Skip, and as you get 
exposed to more ideas (through college, especially), your very fertile 
mind will come up with even more excellent suggestions. We think all 
your ideas are good ones, especially providing jobs for teens. We think 
if government paid teens to clean sidewalks, pick up litter, mentor 
younger children, help older citizens (all things we desperately need), 
we would have far fewer crimes being committed by the young, and far 
more young people on their way to college and decent futures. Thanks 
for thinking and for sharing. 

Ifly Worst Enemy 

My worst enemy is if I ever lost my mother. 

Then I would have my twin sis, stepdad and my two little 


I know if I got in some trouble my mom would be 


All this gang stuff — gun to tin', weed smokin' — I got 

myself caught in. 

Here I am back in jail for hangin' with the wrong crowd. 

I want help, I really want to get it, but I don't know how. 

I want to graduate and go to college. 

Instead of tryna make money on the block and take wallets. 

All the calls I've been makin' and letters my girl been 

sending me. 

The most thing is losin' my life. 

That's my worst enemy. 

-Mike-Mike, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Let your love for (and from) your mother guide you to 
the path you want to walk — the one that leads to graduation and 
college. We're not sure what kind of help you're looking for, but the 
best thing to do is to look really hard at the things you do that lead you 
here, and then try to address those problems in particular. If you have 
a drug or alcohol problem, seek the help of AA. If it^ gangs, there are 
organizations and individuals that have been there and found a way out 
who can help you. If it's not having money, that^ harder to address, but 
there are places (including The Beat Within office) where you can hook 
up with programs that might pay you something to participate. 


Mr. President: 

Fix Tliis Dysfunctionai Country 

I feel that change is good. But I also feel that change 
needs to happen in our country before we go try and help 
and change other countries. Our country, our ghettos, 
our urban areas and streets need help and change. But 
the government feels that what's happening over there in 
Iran or Southeast Asia. 

There are people out here without jobs, without 
homes, food a family, and it seems the government just 
doesn't care about them. 

It's people here who shoot and kill people and go to 
jail for life. But then again, the government allows people 
over in Iraq to go blow up homes, kill innocent kids, get a 
medal of honor for that. Plus, on top of that, getting paid. 
I feel that's wrong and that Obama really needs to bring 
change and fixed this dysfunctional country. 

-Dow Jones, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We agree with you, DJ. We often say that the most 
important function government plays is as teacher, so that what they 
do becomes a model for citizens to follow. Like you say, it makes no 
sense for them to condemn the war in the streets at home when they 
have brought war to the streets abroad. To put it another way, in the 
context of the death penalty, there's a poster that reads: "Why do we 
kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?" Like 
you, we hope the new President can address the problems that make 
this country dysfunctional. 

Life as a Game 

Life is a shady situation. I was told that thoughts become 
emotions, emotions become actions, actions become 
habits, habits become character, character becomes 
destiny.... Our thoughts are by choice. 

But are our thoughts really by choice? What if 
something is on our mind and won't leave? Then what? 

I see life as a game. Some people beat the whole game, 
some people advance to new levels, and for some people 
it's game over. People like me use cheat codes: Like weed, 
alcohol, and codeine. Those are used for us to get through 
the game without thinking about the real obstacles in 

When you became married, the game becomes 
multiplayer. Sometimes your partner can improve your 
game, and sometimes they can be your downfall. 

-Lir Ant, Alameda 

From The Beat: Wow - you have some incredible insights, and the 
questions you ask are deep. We wish we had answers. Have you tried 
asking the mind/body people who come in on Monday nights - about 
whether or not we choose our thoughts? Maybe the idea isn't about 
trying to control them, but just notice when them as they come up? 

Gnod Ideas 

Hey my name is John. I have a good idea for the money. 
I would invest it into schools so they would have more 
P.E. equipment. 

Also, I would invest it into a business so I could hire 
a lot of people that's on parole, 'cause they can't get jobs 
easily now and won't make guns legit for 25 and up 'cause 
21 is too young. 

I also would donate money to churches so they can 
look better and have more activities for the children. 
I would also have a Thanksgiving place where all poor 
people can go to eat all day. 

-John, Alameda 

From The Beat: We appreciate the thought and care you put into the 
communities' needs. It^ a crime they take sports from schools! We 
hope there will be more job training for people who really need it, and 
we don't like guns...even 25 is too young. What kind of activities do 
you think would be good for children? Music classes? Thanks for your 

Iflentally Ready For Ciiange 

Well, what's up Beat? I'm back in this hole getting ready 
to go to Colorado. I'm hella mad. I was only out for two 
weeks and came back in this hellhole because I let a 
stupid/slow-ass female get to me. I know I should have 
swallowed my pride. 

I was up in here before I got released for them two 
weeks for damn near 5-6 months. I was so ready to 
change. I ain't even going to lie. I was working on me. 
I went straight to the grouper and got on level. But I let 
a stupid female get to me and I reacted on it. I know I 
shouldn't have. 

But basically answering "everyone's talking change 
am I?" Yes, I was talking change but obviously I wasn't 
really ready mentally. But now I'm ready 'cause I'm 
starting to look at stuff at a bigger picture and I'm not 
going to let girls push my button to the point I explode. 
So, basically yeah, I'm gonna do me and do what I got to 
do so I can get off this probation shhh. If my PO think 
sending me to Colorado is the best, then I'm gonna prove 
to them I can complete the program and be home with my 
baby and family. So yeah, I'm ready for the challenge. 

I am going to change. I'm not just going to talk the 
talk, I'm gonna walk the walk. I'm gonna show my big 
bra (RIP Darious) didn't leave his little sis back to be a 
messed up, ya dig. 

-Queen Bri, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's not good that you were not able to control yourself 
when your buttons were pushed, but it is good that you've looked at 
yourself and seen what you have to do to flip the script of your life. 
Good for you to be willing to go to Colorado and meet the challenge of 
change. Your attitude will determine your success (or failure), so we're 
expecting good things to come from this experience for you. Just keep 
an open mind, and absorb all you can to make you a stronger an better 
person so you never have to repeat this experience again. 


I ain't feeling the topics tonight. So I'ma write what's 
on my mind. First off, I went to court earlier last month, 
and the DA over at county is trying to give me and my 
co-parts life for an attempted murder charge. It's hard 
thinking that you might do life. 

I know for a fact the time will drop, but the principle 
is that I might be labeled a lifer in the system. I don't want 
to be a lifer, and I know everyone else don't either. You 
may think you're a bad-ass in the system and in front of 
your homies' eyes. But you're not. 

What about your family? Look into your mother's 
eyes. See the pain and tears she's tryin' to hide to stay 
strong for you. Why are your so-called homies that you 
would die for out there not caring if you are in here? They 
don't and won't shed a tear for you. When you get out and 
when you choose to kick it with them again, look into 
their eyes. See if they want to give their life for you. See 
how they help you in your future. 

I'm not telling you to go kick it with them and do 
stupid things that wastes your time and hurts your 
family. I'm telling you to give life to your family who gave 
life to you. Your mother brought you here and sacrifices 
for you. I know I will protect my family no matter what. I'll 
do it with honor and pride. The question is will you see 
life, or "do it?" 

-Saetern, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Here^ another example of the deep thinking and 
beautiful writing we have come to expect from you, Saetern. How can 
the profound wisdom you show in this piece (and so many more) become 
part of the thinking of young people BEFORE they find themselves 
in your situation? Maybe your words will reach some — or even one 
— before he makes that terrible choice that leads to the dead-end of 
"doing life." If that happens, you can count that as positive karma to 
balance out some of what has gone before. Thank you for your honesty 
and willingness to share it. 


My Own Worst Enemy 

Your pride can be your own worst enemy. Even sometimes 
when you know you should do something different or 
make the better choice that will benefit you, your pride 
takes over and pushes you to do what you want to do and 
not what you should do. 

Temptation and opportunity play a part too. At times 
when you're capable of doing something, even with the 
knowledge of the consequences, you act on it and do 
it because you feel it could be done. The temptation of 
actually doing it and while your doing it can cause a rush 
of blood to your head and prevent thorough thinking and 
you just end up acting upon it. 

I was supposed to be getting off probation in Dec. of 
'08. My PO said I was doing good and he'd get me off by 
Christmas. I was working for the city and passing my piss 
test. I felt I was just playing the system and was getting 
through it like a knife to the gut. Three months before 
Christmas, two weeks after my 16th B-day, I get wrapped 
up like a mummy. Now I'm getting tried as an adult with 

I was my worst enemy. 

-Jon Jon, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: If only you could have thought these things through 
before you got locked up. Do you see the intelligence in you that we 
do? How do you feel about your sentences? Do you feel that you should 
be charged as an adult? We hope that everything works out for you, 
because we know that you can change your life around, 
smart not to. Thoughts? 

You are too 

Your Own Worst Enemy 

Sometimes we can be our worst enemy. By drinking, 
selling, and also using, we're not just hurting ourselves, 
we're hurting our community, the place we call home. 

We sell to our homies and wonder why they turn their 
back on us. It's because the drugs got to their heads. We 
wonder why we always get locked up. It's not because that 
fake person snitched, it's because we messed up and we 
shouldn't have done that stupid shhh. 

Our own moms and family members are mad at us 
because of the shhh we did and it's sad that I'll probably 
never be able to see my kid. All because I became my 
worst enemy and did the crime I did. 

-Bro, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We know that many of The Beat readers will have many 
things to say about this piece, good and bad, because you've touched 
on topics that people like and don't like to talk about. Take for instance 
what you said about selling drugs to your friends, you had such a great 
explanation to everything that you said! You are a born teacher, Bro. We 
hope to see more pieces like this in the future (and not because you're 
locked up). Keep in touch when you become a world-renowned college 
professor! The world is yours! 

Las Pandillas No Llebao A Nada 

Yo tengo 16 aiios y en mi pequefia edad he pasado por 
muchas cosas. Hace unos aiios fui pandillero y sufri 
mucho. ^Imaginate como te sintiera que alguien te 
mande a matar a otra persona o hacer una cosa mala? 
Por esa razon me sali y me vine para este pais y viene solo 
a seguir haciendo las mismas cosas. 

Gracias a Dios sigo adelante. Tengo un hijo precioso 
y a una novia muy Linda que me ha apoyado en todo aiin 
sabiendo que me van a deportar. Por eso les digo que se 
cuiden y que apoyen a sus familias. 

A los que anda en pandillas, pidanle a Dios que los 
ayude y los va ayudar. Cuidensen y portense bien. Las 
pandillas lo linico que trae es la muerte, la carcel y vivir 
una vida loca. 

From The Beat: Que bueno que hayas decidido salirte de la pandilla 
antes de hacerle dano a otra persona. Al haber tomado esta decision, 
has prevenido muchos derrames de sangre y de lagrimas y una gran 
peso de consiencia. Se nota de volada de que no eres de esos tipos de 
gente que no le importa matar a otra persona. Ahora tienes a un hijo 
y a una persona por quien luchar en la vida. Si vuelves a venirte aqui 
recuerdarte de lo tienes. Mantente lejo de tu pandilla porque te pueden 
hacer dano por no haber obedecido a lo que te mandaron a hacer. 

Gangs Won't Take Yon Anywhere 

I am 16 years old and in my short life I've gone through a 
lot of things. A year ago, I was a gangster and I suffered so 
much. Imagine how would you feel if someone sent you 
to kill another person or to do a bad thing? That was the 
reason I got out of it and came to this country, but I came 
here to continue to do the same thing. 

Thank God I'm still on my feet. I have a precious son 
and a beautiful girl who are supporting me even knowing 
I'm getting deported. That's why I suggest you to take care 
and support your families. 

To those who are in gangs, ask God to help you and 
He will help you. Take care and behave well. The only 
thing gangs bring is death, jail and a to live a crazy life. 

-Catracho, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's a good thing that you decided to get out of the gang 
life instead of hurting another person. By making this decision, you 
avoided, a lot tears and blood shedding, suffering and a heavy load 
over your conscience. It^ obvious that you are not like those people who 
don't care about others. Now you have a son and someone to fight for 
in life. If you come back here, keep in mind what you have waiting here. 
Keep yourself away from your ex-gang because they can hurt you for 
disobeying what they asked you to do. You know how gangs work. 

No One Hears Me 

I open my eyes, I try to see 

but I'm blinded by the white light. 

I can't remember how, I can't remember why 

I'm lying here tonight and I can't stand the pain 

And I can't make it go away. 

How could this happen to me? 

I've made my mistakes, got nowhere to run 

The night goes on as I'm fading away, 

I just want to scream. 

How could this happen to me? 

Everybody's screaming, 

I try to make a sound but no one hears me. 

I'm slipping off the edge, I'm hanging by a thread 

I want to start this over again. 

I just want to scream, how could this happen to me? 

-Cody, Alameda 

From The Beat: Wow, Cody, this piece is very deep. Sometimes we need 
to just scream and cry and vent because if we don't the frustration 
and anger will just build up and build up until we explode. Never feel 
ashamed to scream or cry to let it out because it takes real strength to 
let loose. What do you think about your piece? How does it make you 
feel? We wish you the best upon your return home. 


1 I I r 

rm. I 

Worst Enemy 

I understand when y'all say we are our own worst enemy, 
when we do unnecessary things that cause ourself harm. 
But then again, everyone does things that is unnecessary 
or things that don't have a meaning. By being in a battle 
with your own worst enemy, you can win and overcome. 

-Lir Danny, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Even though this piece is short, it carries a powerful 
message which we agree with. At times, all of us are our own worst 
enemies, and yet all of us have the power within ourselves to overcome 
and move beyond our weaknesses and limitations. 

Help Me 


I sit in my cell, the walls close in and I know that my 
time has just begun. 

I'm not in my group home. I gave that up. 
I haven't been sentenced yet, just my luck. 
After a while I give up hope only to think of reuniting with 

But I don't. I keep my head up just like mom told us 
before she left. 

I sit in here to better myself but I can't do it alone. 
I need help. I really need all the help I can get and that's 
why I write this. 

-Devor, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thank you for having the courage to reach out for help! 
That's not always wr\ easy thing to do. But we hear your message loud 
and clear. There are so many people out there waiting to help you. Find 
an adult you trust and admire. Find a community organization that 
empowers youth. Someone is waiting to help you. 


I'm tryin' to change my life because me and my brother 
in jail and my mama not happy with it. This the first time 
me and my brother got locked up, and she also not happy 
because me and my brother was in jail for Christmas and 
New Year. 

My mama, she sad. So I am tryin' my best to be good 
in here and be good when I get out so I won't be back in 
here and I won't make my mama sad. My sister told me 
that my mom not eating and I don't like that. 

-Fia, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Can you put yourself in your mom^ shoes for a minute 
and think why she would feel so sad to see her children locked up at any 
time, but especially at Christmas? If you were the mother, what would 
you want from your children? Can you (and your brother) give her what 
she wants? 

is 1 



What it do. Beat? This is Cye. Well, I'm still up in this 
shhh hole, I'm just doing me and should be out of here 
pretty soon. I'm going to Wyoming for a year. 

Well, about "Your Own Worst Enemy" topic, I say 
everyone who's reading this is their own worst enemy. I 
say this simply because when you get locked up, who do 
you blame? Saying that I've been my own enemy since the 
age of twelve, this is why I'm always locked up. 

I'm sure a couple of people could relate to this, say 
you're with the homies and everyone's hella drunk, and 
someone says "lets go come up on a car" you know it's 
a bad idea, but you still go do it. Why is that? You don't 
know right. That's why your own enemy. You get locked 
up because of you, or your enemy. Don't be a fool!!!! 

-Cyclopse, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Too true! We can be our worst own enemies and sometimes 
we're too harsh on ourselves. We're allowed to make mistakes and do 
things wrong, otherwise how else would we learn? The difference is 
that we all take different things from these experiences and "mistakes" 
and that can either make you or break you. What have you learned from 
all of your life experiences? 

me I 

level lee 


Friendships last a lifetime. 

And love is never promised 

Your memory will stay in my heart and never be 


I was told nothin' lasts forever. 

But I hope we stay together. 

Still waters run deep, as fire grows wild. 

My love for you is as innocent as a child. 

When I tell you I love you it's because I really do. 

Or when I say that I miss you, I'm telling you the truth. 

Though I haven't seen your face in a very long time. 

My love for you grows like the numbers do in crime. 

Baby girl, I love you and staying faithful 

Because you're my soul mate I love you and miss you so. 

These were the things I needed you to know. 

-B Boy, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: B Boy, you blew us away with this poem! The way you 
molded the words and they way it flowed together was beautiful. Have 
you ever thought of going to school for writing? Who knows, you could 
be a future English professor or one of the great poets of the future! 

Everyone's talking Change, are you? 

Yes I have changed. I change, because I have 
responsibilities to look after my Little Bru. He looks up to 
me, so I didn't just change for myself, I changed for him. 

But these streets won't ever change. People is still 
mobbin', robbin', and grindin' doing whatever they go to 
do to get their money. Ima try to get a job and right, but 
still when I walk these streets it's still not safe, but Ima 
always have ma head up mostly because I'm not scared of 
none of these ninja's out here. 

I been there, done it, so it's time for a change, all ma 
potnas that do they thing is always gon' be there, we gon' 
kick it and whatever, but Ima have a job and work hard for 
my money, changing is the best for me. 

-Marv, Alameda 

From The Beat: We appreciate that you care enough for your little bru to 
understand he needs you. What kind of job will you look for? We hear 
your dedication to change...and wish you well. 


1 I I r 

To Obama 

If I were President, I would use any of my privileges to 
their fullest potential. Like if there were any vacant fields 
or lots, I would build an eco friendly factory, and hire 
many people who were in need of work. I would also give 
the homeless homes. It would not be a sanctuary, or like 
giving a hand out, but it would be like a place that they 
could move up into the middle class from and teach them 
to help themselves. I feel that Obama is going to take us 
out of the recession and I know that Obama is going to do 
other great things as well. 

Hopefully, my ideas here will interest those that read 
this issue. Thanks for listening. 

-Ramon, Fresno 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing. We all hope for good things in 
the next decade, but remember that it takes everyone to change what 
everyone has caused, one man cannot do it all alone. 

A Million Steps 

When I was going to Fresno High I was getting a 4. 
Everything was good until I committed my first crime at 
school which got me expelled. I went to court and they 
put me an ankle. 

When I went to an expulsion hearing, the school 
board decided to give me another chance to go to a public 
school because of my good grades. 

On my recent court date instead of attending a 
different school and trying to change I was being placed 
in a substance abuse unit for six months. 

I slowly seen my life going down the drain but I didn't 
want to believe it. I feel like I have taken three steps 
forward and a million steps back. 

Now, I'm stuck in a hole and ready to go where ever 
life takes me. 

-Brandon, Fresno 

From The Beat: Stay positive, with your capabilities you will soon be 
taking a million steps forward. 


A Nlgiitmare 

Pass the weed ninja is what the kid said 

Ridin' 'round in the coupe wit' my eyes all red 

I switched lanes and looked down at the pistol on my lap 

Then I looked at my potna will this ninja really clap 

Hell yeah, that's my ninja he gon' ride 

If I get killed today, my ninja gon' slide 

So we pull up to the block and bounce out of the car 

Pants saggin' and everything plus I'm higher than the 


What we 'bout to do, I'm tryna get this dough 

Me I ain't knowin' that this ninja off blow 

So we go and hit a lick and we get 100 stacks 

Somethin' else I ain't know, somebody about to be on 

they back 

My potna sat in the car so I gave him twenty-five percent. 

But he wanted to argue like it wasn't enough to pay rent 

Forget it then ninja, take it or leave it 

He said if you was me you wouldn't want to receive it 

I throw him the dough I ain't messin' with you no mo' 

I turn my back and get hit with a fo'-fo' 

All shots pierced through my head 

At ten o'clock at night the kid was gone and dead. 

-Purple The Kid, Alameda 

From The Beat: Good God. We are so grateful to know this was a dream, 
that this didn't really happen to you - because it would be such a waste 
of your precious and valuable life, your unfinished story. As you discover 
yourself and develop your talents »% Skn writer, we hope you remember 
that the greatest piece of writing you will ever do is writing your own 
future, and becoming the author of your own destiny. i 


We mi Be Dreenin 


We all be dreamin', steady stealin' for no reason. 
I was raised on the block where the crack heads feedin', 
in for a hit of coke. They will come and slice your throat. 
And if it's a tug-a-war, they gonna break the whole rope. 
Everybody's dangerous, so having guns is hope. 
That's they lil' brother in that gun that don't grow. 
Kill some more people then that gun get old. 
But never throw it away so that the gun get sold. 
Then you go to jail knowin' somebody done told. 
Then when you go to jail, your girl put your call on hold. 
She got you thinkin' like she never done this before. 
And when she gets back on the phone it be time for you 
to go. 

Askin' you personal stuff I'm thinking girl you should know. 
Now I'm tellin' myself my grandmother had to go. 
I try to cry some times but tears don't show. 
If this life is a dream what does Doctor King say it for? 
I had a dream like his- 1 should be rich tomorrow. 

-Dirt Laden, Alameda 

From The Beat: You talk about the brutality and cruelty of life on 
the streets, but we want to know where you fit in. Where do you see 
yourself in 1 years Dirt Laden? Still caught up in the street life? Or far 
far away from it all? 

' You Slioulil Have Known. 

Momma, you were never there for me. Never cared for 


See these tears roll down my eyes cause you were never 

in my life. 

Smoking and drinking. That ain't cool. You told me to 

forgive you. 

Do you really think I'm a fool. 

I'll never forgive you, never hear you. 

Pain, hate, a big disgrace. Hate goes away. So does pain. 

But disgrace stays in my brain. 

Ooops I forgot, I got your name. 

Insane! I forgot you even walked this earth. 

I know you that's hardcore. It's not. It's like a sore. 

It hurts more and more. 

It'll heal for real. 

How does that saying go, you'll reap what you sow. 

Do you even know? Do you want me to show? 

Don't forget we have the same last name. Mine equals 


We're not the same. You're crazy and lame. 

If I were you I would be ashamed to even show your face. 

I hate you to the fullest. I'm the one who's going to 

graduate from school. Sh... 

Di you even think — with all those drugs? Your brain 

shrinked, man. I can't stand you. 

But I got to hand it to you. You did your own thang. 

It's like a song that sings. Wait, don't cry. This poem's the 

true way you lived your life. 

Wake up. Don't fake up. 

Man, who are you? I don't claim you. I'm so ashamed of 

your name but not the last name cause it's the same as 

mine. Here, get the sign, you're our of my life. 

This is my last line. For messing up my time, goodbye 

you fake. 

This is the last straw. You get what you saw. 

-Willheasha, Fresno 

From The Beat: We feel for you and know what it is like to have wr% 
in^wne parent who has hurt us. We identify with all your feelings and 
understand that you are entitled to all these feelings. You were screwed 
over. Your mother did you wrong but it also sounds like she was fighting 
her own battle with drugs. We never forget what these parents did but 
we work to forgive and we always give thanks for the opportunity 
these people gave us to live a life. Good luck. Peace and love. 


1 I I r 

100% Real Talk 

3ur I 

This is the way I live — guns, weed, sellin' dope, robbing 
hitting licks, everything. But you don't think about your 
family or your mama or nothing, you just in it to win. But 
if you put it all together, it's not worth losing your life or 
going to jail, because soon as you get shot or do a crime, 
people like, "God, please help me! Save my life!" Or, "Get 
me out of this", but don't even take time out and even ask 
God for forgiveness or even pray. 

Look at me. I'm in the Ranch. I been in and out of jail, 
and I write in The Beat and talk about change, but I never 
do. I keep stressing Moms out, but it's '09. I be really 
thinking about my freedom, so I'm go' do what I have to 
do to succeed. I'm gone. 

-Yung Dink, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You're right. People here often %sky that all they care 
about is their mama and family, but they don't think twice about 
leaving their mama in tears »% she watches her "baby" imprisoned far 
from home. It sounds like you are beginning to see things like an adult, 
which means that you see your responsibility to others, and not just 
yourself. You say you never change, but we see change in this piece of 
writing. Once that process starts, it only continues, and has no end. 
Keep thinking about your mom and your freedom, and tell us what you 
"have to do to succeed." 

I Have learned from ffttf m'sta/ces 
like a wise person does, I also 
helleve this will he mtf last time 
Iff Jail ever. 

Ready to Gliange 

I feel that I'm ready to change my life around and make 
the right choices that will help me progress forward and ' 
make me successful. 

I have learned from my mistakes like a wise person 
does. I also believe this will be my last time in jail 
ever. I believe I'm ready to become a man and accept ■ 
responsibility and get and hold a job so I can make money I 
and not get in trouble for it. 

I want to get out of here and hurry up and knock out 
my 6 months at Camp Sweeney. , 

-Marcus, Alameda ' 

From The Beat: We're glad you're ready. School is a big part of Camp 
Sweeney, study hard while you're there. Get all the help that is available 
to you. Take care and good luck. . 


More Jobs 

My opinion on President Obama is if he wants more 
jobs, he should open more companies so that people can 
stay focused and out of trouble. That would help a lot 
because out here in Fresno, there are a lot of people who 
need money, a lot of poor families. So that would be great 
and he would help a lot of families. He would also help 
me because when I was out there, it was hard for me to 
get a job. But when I get out, I hope it is easier for me to 
get a job. 

-Edwin, Fresno 

From The Beat: What a great idea! More jobs in the community is always 
a good thing, especially where there are many families living in poverty. 
You can get a job too! There are job services out there specifically for 
young people who have been previously incarcerated. We encourage you 
to talk local community organizations so that can find out where to go 
for job services. 


Just Tliouglit Of It 


Man, I just thought of my ninjas that wasn't here when I 
was locked up. All of these young men dying for something 
they don't even own. 

I never listen to my mom or dad. Dad was always 
locked up. Moms always stressing. Sisters out there 
doing their thangs. Brothers are never home. Uncles end 
up dead. Homies end up dead. 

I need to be in school where others are at. I could only 
see my mom for 45 minutes a day. It's my fault because 
she told me to go to school and keep my chin up. This is 
just for ninja's been through the same I been through. 
Remember, "blood is thicker than water." I'm gone! 

-B-Hunt, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If family is what^ truly valuable in your life ("blood 
is thicker than water"), then how will you show your respect for the 
treasure that is your mother? She has lived longer than you; she 
understands things in a way that you can't until after you have lived 
longer, experienced more. You've seen the consequences of doing what 
you want, rather than what you should, so how will your life change 
when you touch down? 

Your Own Enemy 

' Whats up Beat? If you ask me sometimes I do think I am 
my worst enemy and that I do sabotage myself at times. 
Why I don't know, maybe it's just how I am. 

Others talk about change and I don't think I'm ready 
for that. Every time I get out I wanna change but I keep 
goin' back doing wrong and coming back. This time I'm 
18 and I got 34 days left and when I get out it might go for 
the good or it might go for the bad wait and see. 

-Ali, Solano 

From The Beat: It really helps to learn about ourselves, understand why 
we make the choices we do — and see where we fall away from what we 
really want in the end. We're sure you're not interested in checking out 
the inside of the adult system. Get to know yourself instead! Commit 
yourself to your future! 

Living Lociieil 

R-Mac, also known as Ray, 

8 out of 12 hours a day, 

I'm in a makeshift cage. 

Pending suicidal mind that guides my way, 

Windows tinted so the sun shines grey. 

Can't wait to get away, 

I want to leave this place. 

Like a palace for the malice and the lost of faith, 

"Hardcore" gangsters talkin' out the side of they face. 

Don't want to get down man, they scared of the mace. 

Say crap a new charge, but they fighting the case. 

Lose the trial and get sentenced away. 

Cry on their visiting day, 

Man I hope he doesn't cry when he gets to YA, 

Or get loud to cause a scene so staff can 

"Save the day", 

I'm locked, stuck. 

With a bunch of ninjas 

See I'm locked crap. 

Can't wait to see my ninjas 

See I'm trapped lost, 

I hear my time-a-tickin' 

And I can't stop the clock 

So that's the cost of living 


-R-Mac, Fresno 

From The Beat: You've got a true knack for rapping and poetry! Wow! 
Your words lend insight into the reality of JJC. It's a really depressing 
place, and it ain't the place for a young, intelligent, talented man like 
you. When it feels like the walls are closing in, keep using your words to 
break through them — keep your spirits high, keep your voice alive. 


1 I I r 

It's Hard To Change 

When I was only twelve, I started being outside — not 
just outside playing with kids my age, but hangin' with the 
generation before mines. I always liked hangin', because 
there was always something fun to do. But what I didn't 
know was once you're off the porch, there ain't no turnin' I 
back. I was into smoking weed, poppin' pills, sippin' on ' 
Bo Lean. I and even started pistol tottin'. 

After you are so into one lifestyle, it's hard to change 
your life around. I have been to YGC three times in the 
past three months. First, I came in October for a robbery. 
Second, I came in December for a terrorist threat. Between 
my release in November and my detention in December, I 
was actually trying to make my own change. When I was 
let out, I started to go to school every day on time, to 
every class. 

During my winter break, I was falsely accused of a 
terrorist threat. The investigator on my case told me that 
the lady didn't say she was threatened, but that she felt I 
threatened. All this has put a hold on my life and school, 
and when I get out, I plan on doing good. ' 

-Thuggin* Too Hard, San Francisco 

From The Beat: There^ never a time when you can't turn back and 
change the path you're on. Is it hard? Of course it is, but if you don't 
maice the hard choice to turn bade, you'll be making the hard choice to 
give up years of your life to others, either on the street or behind walls. 
We applaud your decision to try to get your life back on track, so don't 
let this setback keep you from that goal. Pick yourself up again, and 
keep walking forward. . 

Bi| Chilli! Ii He Worn 


I want and I hope something good happen to my 
country. I want the President from this country to help 
the immigrant people because they have a lot of things 
happen to them in this country. I hope that, too, for my 
people in Honduras. 

You know, sometimes we came to this country to help 
in making our own money. I been keeping my eyes on this 
country, and it's a lot of people there, they don't want us 
in this country. But we just want to work for make more 
money in this hated country. 

I want to say to the President, do not forget about us. 
God bless us. 

-Lp, Marin 

From The Beat: What would you like the new President to do to make 
the immigrant life easier here? If you break the laws of this country 
while living here, what do you think the consequences should be? We 
know you want to make life better for yourself and your family by 
coming here, so how can you convince other Americans that you also 
deserve a chance? 



I'm My Own Worst Enemy 

The time I was my worst enemy is right now. What 
did before I came here, I was improving on my grades. 
I studied more; I did more activities to keep away from 
bad stuff. The reason why is because my old friends from 
middle school who made me do it, and I decided to have 
fun. But in the end, I learned my lesson. 

For me, change is what I'm going to do after I get out. 
I'm going to study more often, stay out of trouble, pay 
attention in class, respect my elders. After I saw my mom 
when I was in this, I felt bad. I thought about it. One day I 
decided to change my life to be a better person. 

-Lesson Learned, San Francisco 

From The Beat: One of the hardest things to do is to say "no" to friends 
— but having the courage to S9l^ "no" can spell the difference between 
freedom or not. We hope you keep the wonderful promises you make 
here, not just to make your mom feel better, but to make your life 
better. (From now on, please choose just one topic, and not all three. 
We combined two of your pieces into this one. And don't forget to put 
your name down.) 

The Only Thing Alive 


My worst enemy is inside of me. I follow on paths which 
lead me towards jail. My soul is dead but my body is the 
only thing alive. 

I am fighting but I'm always sinning. The devil's happy 
and he's always grinning. He loves how solid his soldier 
is and he's proud of me for putting in work like a crazy 

I love my hood and I love Vacaville, California. Nobody 
will ever take that away from me. You can take me away 
from my hood, but you can't take the hood away from 
me. Plus it's on my back so every time I see it I smile. 
Hah aha 

-Droopy, Solano 

From The Beat: We've heard that we all have a mind, body, and soul-or 
spirit. So how^ that mind doing? Do you miss your soul? (Is it possible 
it^ not dead-just rusty?) You can love your town, your friends, your 
community without having to die or commit crimes for them. Why serve 
the devil — if you have a choice, and you do. Why not serve your best, 
highest self? There^ much more to lose, and much more to gain. 

A New Life 

My life is movin' too fast and it took me a loss to gain 
knowledge on this. I mean I already knew, but it's really 
startin' to hit me now, 'cause I'm down, an' problems 
keep comin' at me. I'm tryin' to make sense of how it got 
to this point. 

I've lost one of the females I love the most. The wife 
did some good, but the bad that come with it ain't too 
good. Pops keep sayin' he comin' and don't come. I don't 
want shhh, but get this shhh ova wit'. I wanna get out, 
'cause all these songs is gon' eventually drive me crazy, 
'cause I'm months away from female contact. A ninja 
really need some weed right now, 'cause the Ranch ain't 
doin' nothing to help. The so-called teachers ain't doin' 
shhh but tryin' to wash ninjas. 

Whenever I touch a blunt or anything like that, then 
I'ma know it's time fo' me to sit an' think 'bout how 
I'ma start my life ova, 'cause 2008 wasn't a good year. 
I took more losses than gains, but what I did gain was 
knowledge. I learned that no matta what, when you down 
an' really pay attention to shhh, dependin' on what it is, 
it'll get to you. An' ninja, when you down, you vulnerable 
to everything. Yo' emotions basically control you, 'cause 
a majority of my losses was my fault. 

This year I'ma spend a lot more time wit' myself an' 
think about more. I'ma hop in the whip an' go chill with a 
few blunts, ease my mind, an' think 'bout my next move 
on anything. I'ma try to do this every morning, and every 
night befo' I go to sleep, unless I'm so far out my body I 
can't get back in. I'ma stay out, but do me, ya feel me? 

A lot of ninjas can't even be trusted nowadays. Ninjas 
is snitchin' on some otha shhh. I'ma keep my circle solid. 
I can't go do no mo' time. I'm eighteen now, so I gotta be 
on my shhh. Don't get it twisted, I'm still the same-ass 
ninja, but I'm thinkin' more 'bout shhh, 'cause I got a 
couple people I talk to. But somehow I still feel separated 
and lonely, but it's a whole different story afta either the 
exit exam or June, 'cause I'm on some brand new shhh, 
disrespectful as a four-letter word. 

-Cam, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It sounds like you are maturing, recognizing your 
responsibility for choices you've made. We can't be sure from this what 
this new awareness will mean when you finally touch down, but we 
hope it means that you have connected the dots between action and 
their consequences. You say you're the same iks you always were, but 
we're not so sure. Where do you think the thinking you plan to do when 
you mellow out (with your blunts) will take you? What is the "whole 
different story" we can expect from you after "the exit exam or June?" 
In short, what changes do you foresee in your future that will make it 
different from your past? 


Losing Something Impnrtant 

Well, I don't know the topic but I feel like writing. I am a 
seventeen year old boy, I have lived and been raised by my 
grandparents. I have seen a lot in my life that I shouldn't 
have stuff that most people never have and never will. 
When I was little it was tough seeing my mom have 
many different guys in and out of the house. She lost my 
brothers and sisters because she was doing drugs all of 
the time. 

In October of last year, I met this beautiful girl, who 
was just breathtaking. She was six or seven months 
pregnant the, and I told myself I didn't care, I had to have 
her. We got together seven months after that. Things were 
great then, her son was great too. He calls me dad, and 
won't even let his real father hold him. They lived with me 
for a while, but now I am locked up, and I think that I have 
lost her. 

I think that the point of me telling this story is 
because I asked myself who I was really hurting by getting 
in trouble. And now I ask you all the same thing. Are you 
really hurting yourself or are you hurting others? I think 
that it is the people that love and care about us that we 
are really hurting, and why that is bad is because we love 
and care about them back. We don't let others hurt them, 
so why do we keep causing them pain? 

The little boy that I was went from seeing too much 
too young, to not seeing at all, and now I have decided 
that the trouble is not worth the hearts of the ones who 
did nothing to deserve the pain that I have caused them. 

-Jonathan, Fresno 

From The Beat: Great advice Jonathan. And just so you know, this worics 
both ways, you did not deserve the pain that you were caused either »% 
a child, so to forgive yourself now, forgive others from the past, and you 
can move on for the better. 

Keep ilfly ilflind Rigiit 

This Juvenile Hall life, it ain't for me / even thougl 
little stuff, I'm only seventeen /I need to get out, this really 
ain't koo / I'm missing out on a lot of stuff, especially 
school / I always say I ain't trippin', but I really am / I'm 
trying to keep my mind right, doin' the best I can / 1 ain't 
have much to say, but I will next week / Until then have a 
nice day Beat. Peace. 

-Lil Rolo, Alameda 

From The Beat: Keep doing the best you can! 

Peace back. 


Well Beat, today I don't really want to write about 
anything besides hope. What is hope to me and you? The 
first thought that pops in my mind when I think about 
hope is do I have it? What is it? And such and such on. 

To me, hope is something you wish for. Sometimes it 
can and it can't happen, but one thing for sure is that as 
long as we live, we always have to have hope. 

The way I look at it is if I can visualize it, it is possible, 
no matter what the circumstances are. Like for instance, 
I'm looking at 35 to life, but I can't really guarantee that 
'cause the next thing I know I can be out in the outs 
posted up with my fam bam. 

But I have hope, and with my hope come along with 
faith. I'll get out one day. 

-Lir Cash, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Without hope, there is not much point in moving 
forward. So we admire and endorse the message you are giving here. 
We are reminded of a song from our youth (we haven't heard it in years) 
'When You Walk Through A Storm," and one of the verses goes 
With hope in your heart/ And you'll never 
Don't ever give it up! 


like this: "Walk on.. Walk on, 

walk alone/ You'll never walk alone 

[h it's I 


1 I I r 

Getting Lociieij Up Is Iflotivation To Giiange 

What up with this Beat? This yo' boy, BR. I came to y'all 
today with words from the real. So many young people 
gettin' locked up nowadays, it's not even funny. It should 
never be funny. It should be motivation for ones that's in 
juvenile hall, even me. 

Every time when I read a Beat Within, I always read 
something about somebody sayin' that they hate juvenile 
hall. But yet, we the ones that puttin' ourselves in here. 
You can make a mistake once, but turn around and say "I 
made another one," and it won't happen. Huh? A mistake 
is made once and once only. A mistake you learn from 
and it don't happen again. 

I was like that when I was young, with school and the 
streets. I was always told, "You keep doin' what you doin' 
and you will end up somewhere you don't want to be." 
And look at me — not in jail, but somewhere I don't want 
to be. But when I get out, I'm gonna change, and that's a 

-Br, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Are you saying that if you keep making the same 
"mistake," it's not really a mistake stny more because you know what 
to expect? If so, we agree with you. We like this piece very much, but 
you could make it much stronger if you gave us some specific examples 
of what you plan to change when you get out. (We can't print your last 
name, so we put your initials instead.) 



Oliama, Oliama, Oliama, Oliama 

Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, 
Obama, Obama, Obama... 

Obama is the president of the new year stepping up 
to play the part and get them millions. You can't stop 'im; 
you can't knock 'im. Change is coming! Put yo' sword up 
Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, 
Obama, Obama, Obama... 

Obama finta get us up some new jobs so we can put 
clean money back on the block and get our kids some 
big money on a stock. Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, 
Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama... 

Obama! I can't believe it's real, but this shhh is ill. 
We coming up in a new way. He got a better deal. The 
White House, black now with two little girls and his wifey 

-Kirstin, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It is, indeed, a new day in American history. But at the 
same time, one man — President or not — cannot change things without 
us changing things ourselves. So, in that spirit Kirstin, what change do 
YOU plan to bring to this new day? 


Worls If lisiiratioi 

"A man in old age is like a sword in a shop window. 
Men that look upon the perfect blade do not imagine the 
process by which it was completed. Man is a sword, and 
daily life is the workshop. And God is the artificer, and 
those cares which beat upon the anvil, and file the edge. 
And eat in, like acid. .. No pain, no palm, no thorns, no 
throne, no glory, no cross, no crown." 

My dad gave me a book to read, and said "look for 
the quotes you need." See, I never been in jail before, but 
now that I am able to see the inside, I know when I get 
out I'm not coming back. People say Oh never say never 
but that's BS because I know I can prevent myself from 
coming back here, just like I put myself in the position to 
be here. So could you prevent yourself from coming back 
here, just think about it, 

-Lir Dele, Alameda 

From The Beat: One thing that is clear is that you have a father who 
loves you. We are glad he shared this book with you, glad you shared 
this quote with The Beat, and most glad that you stepped up and shared 
the meaning that this quote has for you, the strength it has given. You 
have come to a dark place, and found light there. 

ifiht. 1 

The Change 

What's up beat? Shhh man I got a lot on my mind tonig] 
Let me start by saying my name is Michael from Hayward, 
and I am in Alameda County Juvenile Hall right now. I get . 
out in April, I got here in December. Well it is better than I 
going to a group home. ' 

Well tonight I am going to write about changing my 
life for the good. Well this is what I need to start on: stop 
gang banging, get a job, go back to school, spend time 
with my fam, start being a dad to my son, find a good lady, 
and do something with my life. What I want to do when I 
am 18 is work for Santa Clara County VTA like my dad. I 
miss him a lot. 

Well to all in the hall you need to start looking at 
yo life. Do you want to be locked up for yo whole life? 
Change it before it is too late. I am changing slowly, soon 
I am going to look back and say I made it. 

Well time is up to all keep yo head up, stand tall and 
stay strong, much love. 

-Michael, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thanks for writing Michael, this is sax inspiring piece. 
You know what you want, you know you can achieve it, and you know 
how to get there. Spend the rest of your time here working that plan 
out more, so when you get out you know exactly what to do from the 
first day. 

I'm My Own Worst Enemy 

Today I'm here to write about how I have been my own 
worst enemy since the last time I was locked up. 

I remember how eight months ago when I was released 
from the Ranch, I told myself and my family that I wouldn't 
mess up any more. But as soon as I got back to the same 
old streets, it started all over. 

I was being selfish wanting to drink and smoke that I 
forgot about the people who really love me and want me 
to do good. Now I understand what I was doing wrong. 
I was being my own worst enemy. Drugs corrupted my 
mind to hide the loved ones in my heart. 

-Vest, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: The difference between the "you" who acted selfishly, 
forgetting those who love you, and the "you" who wrote this piece is 
the difference between a child and a responsible young man. It takes 
some of us longer to grow up than others, but growing up is what it^ 
all about, and it appears to us that is what's happening to you. (At the 
same time, if drugs are a problem, then address that problem directly 
through NA or some other program, so that you will not again find your 
mind corrupted, and so that you will not again betray those you love 
or yourself.) 

1 I I r 

I ' 

li Itese lines 


There's no tears on my pillow 

But there's pain in my heart 

Hitting directly on the mark 

Like a aimed and shot dart 
j I remain strapped in chains 

Watching days pass in vein 

I'm on a mission to maintain 

Not to mention release the strain 
I It's just me and my composure 

Under pressure with no closure 

Now playtime is done and over 

Still no weakness from this soldier 

Hectic measures for hectic times 

Revenge served cold for dropping dimes 

Committed loyalty remains as prime 

Staring clear of fool struck mimes 

I got a demon lurking at my side 

Or is it an illusion of the mind 

Twisted madness is just my kind 

So what I see is what I find 

My rage ignites like dynamite 

Set it off now it's on tonight 

Do or die with every ounce of might 

'Cause pride forever holds my sight 

-Grumpy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Loyalty to who or what "remains iks prime?" As evidence 
by your continued imprisonment (enslavement), your loyalty to a gang 
code (someone else's, not even of your own creation) means disloyalty 
to yourself, your freedom and those who could benefit greatly from it 
through the leadership you could provide. No Grumpy, we're just not 
impressed by your fealty to shot-callers on the outs because we know, 
iks you should, that it leads to having to answer to shot-callers behind 
these walls, forever keeping you from being your own shot-caller, the 
master of your own fate, the captain of your own ship! We continue to 
be mightily impressed with your skills and pray for the day they will be 
put to use for a cause so much bigger than the narrow little one you've 
settled for. 

Love Sick Blues 

The night is dark and still as I walk the silent, lonely 

I shiver as the frosty wind fiow past. 

My mind, dark and desolate crowed with lovelorn 
memories of my woes. 

As I reminisce these languishing thoughts. 
I continue my stroll of pending damnation. 
With no destination I walk the abyss before me. 
I pray to Amadeus to lead my path and march my soul. 
To guide me to freedom and clear my mind, 
to deliver me to me final curtain fall in peace. 

-Fog, Fresno 

From The Beat: You should consider being a writer. 

niferirone's Talking Change 

Am I talking change? Hell yeah. 

We have an African American President! 

I need to make a change and don't be giving black people 

a bad reputation. 

I'm also going to change by going to school, maybe get a job, 

the reason I say maybe on the job is because school and 
a job would be heavy 

on my shoulders right now. 

I think all people should change it does not matter about 
the race. 

-K-Dre, Alameda 

From The Beat: Change can be a good thing, and when things aren't 
working for you, a necessary thing. With the new year and a new 
president, now is the perfect time to put your ideas of change into 


1 I I I 


What's good all in here? It's the homeboy Shrek up in 
the Max. I'm in here chillin' just waiting to get out on Feb. 
15. I'm finally going to be getting out, I been locked up 
since January 11th of '08. Today I'm going to write about 

Well when I get out I'm going to go to school and get 
a job. I'm not going to get out and start smoking and 
drinking and doing all the stuff that I did that got me 

So this is my plan for change: First get out and enroll 
myself into school and apply for some jobs. Oh, but before 
I do that, I'm going to chill with my daughter and get back 
with my baby mama. 

Second I'm going to stop doing drugs and alcohol. 
Also I'm not going to run from probation anymore or 

Thirdly, I'm going to stack my chips, get a car, and get 
my own place. 

Lastly, I'm going to stay out as long as I can and give 
my daughter things that I never had and keep her away 
from the same struggles that I endured. Oh yeah, and I'm 
going to try and get along with my family and start giving 
them money to help out around the house. Add up all the 
times you've been locked up, see what it amounts to like 
all the months, it adds to years. Surprising huh? This is 
not time that we can ever get back. So when you get out, 
try and do good. 

I send my love and respect to those of you locked 
down, I know how you're feeling, but keep your head up 
and keep moving. 

-Shrek, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This is so awesome, Shreic!! You've organized your plans 
and your hopes which maice it much easier to achieve your goals. Not 
many adults are Sk% organized Sk% you so great job! We know that great 
things are in store for you, just stick to your plans and don't let anyone 
persuade you otherwise. How bad do you want it? 


A Problem Today 

I think a huge problem we have today that affects 
everyone is global warming. People I think should be 
more aware of what's going on with their planet. 

I think a way Obama could create more jobs is by 
making jobs that are beneficial to the problems we have 
today. Millions of jobs could be created on the topic of 
global warming. For instance, professional trash picker- 
uppers who get paid for it, or maybe lowering the price of 
recyclables to encourage people to recycle more. 

Our planet is dying and it should be one of the first 
things on his agenda. Not only is global warming affecting 
our climate, but it's hurting wildlife and nature's beauty. 

People can't think it's going to be around forever 
because it isn't and they should be more appreciative of 
what they have and not take things for granted like our 

-Megan, Alameda 

From The Beat: You're absolutely right - global warming is a huge 
problem that a lot of people don't pay attention too. It not only 
affects nature and animals, it affects us too. Everything from cancer to 
asthma is exacerbated by global warming, and eventually if we don't do 
anything to stop it, all of our land will be under water someday. Keep 
getting your message out! 

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 

Sittiog io niy Room 

When I'm in my room I think a lot about my mom and 
my best friend. 

My best friend's name is Johnny. We've been best 
friends for three years. I think about him a lot because 
he really don't like me being in here. He wrote me a 
letter saying he wants me to get my life together and stop 
robbing people, I be thinking like why do he care so much. 
He must really love me. Then it came to me, he don't want 
nothing to happen to me like I can try and rob the wrong 
person and get shot or really hurt. 

I sit in my room and write raps about him when I'm at 
home every day. I love him and care about him a lot. 

My mother, wow I love her so much but I know I'm 
breaking her heart in a million pieces by doing the same 
thing over and over again. Like when she comes to see me 
I see a lot of stress in her eyes. I just want to do the right 
thing not only for her but for myself. 

-Jonesha, Alameda 

From The Beat: You're obviously listening and taking in what your loved 
ones are telling you - you're thinking about it. Keep listening to them, 
and keep talking to them, especially when you feel stress or pressure to 
do things you know are wrong. 



P4i^/ ^4 

Rock the Party 


Girl you know we can / Party all night long / When I step 
on the scene / I rock the party / Fresh Jays new T / And 
some Ed Hardy / White Diamond long chain and a new 
phone / Get drunk pop a pill then I'm in the zone / Bust 
off like 09 Rocket Ship / I'm tryna find a lil female... / And 
I ain't trippin if her dude here [cutting it] / Cause my game 
so tight Ima be all over it / At the end of the night I got a 
new girl, hella thick, brown skin and some long curls / 
Girl you know we can party all night / See Ima king try to 
get with me / If you wanna date a prince then you lookin' 
for Reese / If you searching for a guy like Tony then let me 
tell you lil mamma ain't nobody like me... 

-Lil* Tonio 

From The Beat: What a song. We had to edit a bit, iceep it PG and 
respectful. We figure if women are important to you, you must want to 
stay out of do you plan to stay free once you're released? 

Dbama is Brave, But.... 

Obama is fake. When he gets in office, he's gonna end 
up doing all kinds of shhh just like Bush, cause' black, 
and black ain't right. I don't trust black people, and I can 
say that because I AM black, actually really I don't trust 
anyone, especially black people, 'cause they'll shoot you 
and they are set up artists. 

No, I'm just playin'. I trust black people, I trust all 
races. I ain't racist against my own kind. They is grimy 

Naw, I'm just playin'. Really it's just that I'm afraid 
he's gonna get killed. Hell that's stupid! 

No, that's brave, but stupid too. 


From The Beat: You started out just joking around, but in the end you hit 
on something deep. There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, 
and Obama has to walk that line every day. In a way, don't you walk 
that line too, with the decisions you have to make out on the street? 

Ilnost Free 


It's Lil' Boobie I finally beat my case I walked out the 
courtroom and put a smile on my face. Now I can taste my 
freedom. All charges dropped. You know ya boy beat 'em. 
A ninja snitched on me but I'm still bout to be free; me 
and my lil Bra T. And when we get out, you know we gone 
eat. We bout to bounce back on our feet; bounce back 
quick to them streets. We won't be back in this. Peace 
until then. Almost FREE. Beat stay up. Until next time, 
hopefully by then I'm out. Yo boy. 

-Young Boobie 

From The Beat: We hear your excitement, that's great news! We're very 
happy to hear you have no intention of coming back to jail. What are 
you planning to do to stay free? 

Finally Going 

Whatsup with The Beat? I been here 13 months, and I'm 
finally going to the Y after waiting 4 months. SO yeah, 
his is my last Beat. I got 2 more years, then it's official; I 

I can't wait to touchdown, see my family, see my 
ninjas, get some pearl. They gave me a strike that's 
messing me up. Something crucial, I can't do shhh no 
more. I definitely can't get another gun charge. Ima be 
cool when I touchdown because heck wit jail, I ain't 
coming back. 


From The Beat: Write to us if you can. Use your time well for you, read 
and write and work on your skills for your future. Take care. 

Stimulating The Ecnnomy 

I would want the President to give the youth in my 
community a job where the youth build more high 


From The Beat: We want youth to have more jobs too, and wonder why 
you want them to build high schools? Do you think there^ not enough? 
Do you think youth would know how to build high schools where youth 
would want to attend? 

Gnnd Things For Myself and My Family \ 

Dear Beat Writers... well, this is Knuckles from 
Livermore. I'm up in camp right now, doin' my thang. I'm 
finna graduate this thang at the end of February or early 
March. I'm hella mad. This weekend I missed my curfew 
call 'cause I fell asleep and the phone had a missed call 
when I woke up. 

So now I got a 12 hour pass, but I ain't tryna have my 
parents waste gas just so I can be out for 12 hours so I'm' 
mobbing it out. When I get out I'm goin' start going back 
to school, try and get my driver's license. 

I'm going to try and get a job. Other than that I'm 
going to be doing some good things for myself and my 
family. You still goin' catch me with the homies posted on 
the block. Still goin' be doin' my thang. 

-Lir Knuckles 

From The Beat: The fact that you even take the time to consider your 
parents' gas shows how much honor you have, and love and respect for 
the people in your life. It^ almost like that is the true you, and that all 
of the rest of the bad stuff, the drinking, the trouble, are just BS that 
get in the way of the true you! Do you think that BS could hold you back 
when you ate released? Have you got a plan to avoid it? 

Oakland Streets 

As I sit in my room I start to think of the shhh I've been 
through in my life: been shot, shot at, shhh don't change 
in these Oakland streets. Ninjas serving rocks of cream, 
smokin' weed, sippin' on bo, just to lean. That shhh don't 
mean shhh, it messes up your brain. 

Shhh don't change in these Oakland streets, ninja 
talking shhh, and get hit. Well now you know, Shhh don't 
change, in these Oakland Streets. 

-Young J 

From The Beat: Some ^sty the only power we really have is over ourselves. 
I Have you changed? 

I I I I 

What's Going On? 

I ask myself what's going on in life? 

My answer was I can't say because my life ain't straight. 

First they judge us as robbers 

The court bam us as monsters 

What's goin' on? Women is havin' sex with women, 

women is havin' sex with men 

Men is havin' sex with men 

And tell me that the world ain't comin' to an end 

We got a black President for the first time 

People say they gon' change but ready to commit they 

worst crime 

Now I'm thinking about leavin' alone 

And I'm gon' end this with what's goin' on. 

-Young Arco 

From The Beat: Well what is going on with you? You %sky you can't %9l^ 
because your life aint straight, yet you have a right to your opinion, 
your perspective, no matter what. Men and women have been having 
sex with men and women for a long long time, that^ not new. Change 
is in the air with our new President, and we hope some that say they're 
going to change too, do! What do you mean, "leavin' alone," where 




This One Might Make You Cry 

They gave that boy fifty 'cause the witness stayed alive. 
His friends could have killed him and they really tried. 
Said they gonna send you some pictures they told a damn 

Didn't write you one letter, not one time. 
If you got ten years or better you should be ready to cry. 
Callin' people on the phone got you feelin' like "why?" 
They got you feelin' solid but I know you want to cry. 
I bet you couldn't picture this when you was five 

that you could shoot a girl and she wouldn't stay alive. 
Taking somebody's life like that makes you feel that 
Ten years from now I wonder if you gonna slide. 

If God don't forget you I wonder where you gonna hide. 
If killing is a must then we on the same side. 
But I ain't getting' caught 'cause I love my life. 
Posted in a cell all day all night. 
How many years until that boy sees daylight, 
robbing a food place done destroyed your life. 
Now you on black in white for the rest of your life. 
(Rest in Peace Wayne) 

-Dirt Laden, Alameda 

From The Beat: Dirt Laden, your writing is just getting better and better. 
We hope you iceep using your rhymes to tell these important stories of 
life on the block. 


I I I I I 



I don't want to put my name on this paper so representing 
me is the city of Berkeley. I came in here to Alameda 
County Juvenile Hall on December 11, 2008 and I'm here 
to this day. It's only been some weeks now, but it seems 
like I've been in here for longer. 

It's my first case, and I was caught with six felonies. 
The judge wasn't in on my court date and they sentenced 
me to six months. I'm here 'till June 3 and that's my next 
court date. The time I'm in here is passing by all fast 
'cause we stay busy by doin' stuff like school and LME 
and other stuff. 


From The Beat: It's good that you are staying busy. What do you think 
you are getting out of these programs? Are you setting goals for 
yourself for the time you are in here? 

Juieiili! Hall 


Man this shhh gets old, everybody around me getting 
released except for me. Ninjas always talkin' bout how 
long they been locked up can't do they time. 

I'm not going to sit here and cry and keep saying I 
can't wait until I get out. I could do my time, but when I 
get out, I'm fina go bad! I'm fina pick up a couple bottles 
and get drunk. But until then I'm going to do my time and 
not let it do me. 


From The Beat: You say you don't like it when people talk about being | 
locked up, but you start out by saying everyone's getting out but you! \ 
We understand you want to get drunk, but is that going to get you 
where you want to go? Do you have wrx^ other plans when you are 

What Could Be Done? 

Cook, for the homeless. 

-Fat Boy 

From The Beat: We agree that it^ not right people go hungry. Next 
time could you write more about what you're thinking? There^ so many 
things that need to be done, why is this problem most important to 

Qiole Beat 

I I 

I don't like the topics for today so I'm just gonna write 
about how I feel. Well today I'm doing good, I'm just here 
in Max 2 waiting to go to YA. I don't got that much goin' 
on, so that's all I got to say. Al rato. 


From The Beat: Gilberto we always want to know how you feel. Do you 
plan to keep in touch when you go to YA? How do you plan to use your 
time well, to better equip you for the world when you are eventually 

Worst Eoemy 

I'm my worst enemy and I'll tell you why. Posted on the 
block and try to survive. This gang shhh ain't funny, and 
ain't easy. Ninja getting shot. 

Well me, they almost took my lil' brother's life away, 
over gangs, they don't know respect like I do. I take it to 
heart, I'm loyal to my family, and I respect them as well. 
Loyalty and respect are the two words of the day. 

-Young J 

From The Beat: How can you be your own best ally in this life? How can 
you be there for your brother and your future and what you've decided 
is really most important to you? Grow your best self, don't follow your 
I own worst enemy- 

Locked op Four Times 

My name is Jamon and I've been locked up four times. 
The first time I came in for a robbery that I didn't do. 
So I got out in three days. And the second time I came 
up in here or an armed robbery that I did, and the third 
time I came up in a year was for a home supervision. The 
fourth time I came in here for an EM failure. I'm only 12 
years old and I've been in jail four times. That's not a 
good thang. 

-Lir Jamon 

From The Beat: A lot of 1 2 year olds haven't yet achieved the wisdom 
you have, they don't realize what you just wrote, that getting locked up 
is "not a good thing." Now that you have this knowledge, and a second 
chance, we hope you live by what you've learned! You deserve your 
I youth. Don't hand it over to the system! 

I Aoi Back 

What's up, it's me Chucho. Well I came back to camp. I 
been here for a solid month. It's good though! It's been 
boring lately, all I am here for is wasting time. I could be 
out there right now kickin' it with my girl or my family. 
This sucks, I want to leave again. But I ain't . I only got 
three months of this shhh, since I got here all I do is go 
to the weight room to waste time. 


From The Beat: Welcome back. We know it was a tough few months, but 
we are glad to hear that you are sticking it out... because it won't be 
wasted time if it helps you reach wisdom, and helps you focus on your 
goals. As for the struggles, don't forget, divided we stand, united we 
fall. If all the minorities worked together, they might just make real 
changes in the system, the hood, the world. It^ tragic to think of all 
that energy being spent on fighting, when life is already hard enough. 

1 I I I 

Worst Eoemy 

I think I was my worst enemy when my mom wanted 
me to come home, I decided to stay out over the night. I 
ended up going to jail with a pistol and all I was thinking 
was "I should have stayed home and blew some tree while 
watching a movie." 


From The Beat: Hopefully you'll have another chance to get this one 
right. Mom^ definitely like their boys to be safe. Are you ever your 
own best ally? 




What I Want In Life Is Peace 

I want to have peace in every hood | 

I know so nobody will get hurt. P 

I see that it might not happen because people think 
differently. n 

I'm gonna do something right for myself I 

I'm tired of being put in the same place at the wrong 

It's hurting me and my family. 

I got a baby on the way and I don't want my kid livin' the 
same life 

as me and that's for sure. That's why I want so much 
peace in life. 


From The Beat: It is heartening to read your words. It's not often that 
we hear young men who are searching for peace. What do you think 
needs to happen, so that our communities become less violent? 

Worst Enemy 

I feel like I'm my worst enemy because every time that 
something good is about to happen to me I mess it up. 
Like when I was about to go to court, I smoked some weed 
and I went to jail. I smoked that weed because I wanted to, 
and who was gonna stop me? but now I wish I didn't. 


From The Beat: It sounds liice you need to woric on malting the right 
choices for yourself. If you could do that day over again, what would 
you have done instead of smoke weed? In the future, what will help you 
to really think before you make wrong choices like that one? 


It's All About Change 

Well let me start by saying what's up and how are you all 
doing. But anyways I'm going to change when I get out. 
They are going to be sending me to a group home and I'm 
gonna do it for most important for my family, because I 
need to be there for them. 

I've been doing all this shhh and they shouldn't have 
to go through this. They don't deserve this, and also I 
want to change for my baby that's on the way. I want to be 
a father, and be a good dad and a good role model and lost 
but not least I'ma be 18 and all my things that I've done 
as a minor is goanna be wiped away. Thank you and I'm 
out. Love... 


From The Beat: You have grown so much during the time we've known 
you, and we know you've been through some sorrows Sk% well. Please 
know that our thoughts and best hopes are with you Sk% you take your 
next step. 

Ten Years From Now 


Dear Beat, Ten years from now, I'm goin' to be 25 years 
old. I'ma have a wife and kids, a good job, hopefully. Or if 
I don't have a wife and kids yet, I'll look for one, then I'm 
still gonna be out there kickin' it on the block with the 
BG's doin' my thang that's all I know what I'm gonna be 
10 years from now. 

I want to stay in my neighborhood because I know a 
lot of people in my neighborhood then, because it's a safe 
place to me. I want my job to be a good job that I could 
make a lot of money. 

I want to be a soccer player, hopefully I could make 


From The Beat: You have a lot of good dreams, so we hope that you 
don't spend too much time on that block, because we'd love to see you 
get that good job and have a chance to play more soccer! 

On My Way 

I am on my way to the Rights of Passage program in 
Nevada for a 9-12 month program. I am not looking forward 
to going but I just have to try and make the best out of 
my situation and use the resources that the program has 
to offer. 

I have a child due on July 27th, so I really would like 
to complete the program so I can be a father to my child 
and continue on with my life. 

While I am at ROP I am going to play baseball and will 
try to get a scholarship to college. 

I am going to be 18 in August so I have to start making 
adult choices and realize that what I do not only affects 
me, but it also affects my family and the people that care 
about me. I am tired of letting myself and everybody else 
down and I want to turn my life around and live it to its 
full potential. 


From The Beat: Thank you for sharing your hopes and dreams for the 
future with the Beat. We hope you are developing a plan that will help 
you reach your dreams. For one thing, qhat are the challenges you 
think you will face along the way, and how do you plan on dealing 
with them? 


What's up fool? I just want to give a shout out to those 
that's locked up right now. I'm mad because it was three 
times where I could have went home and with three 
different aunties. They said it was cool for me to come 
but at the time when I was going to leave they caved. 

Now I'm about to go to a group home, after I had the 
chance on the outs. I don't know where they are going to 
send me. Hopefully the people hurry up and interview me. 
It's been a week since my last court date, so it won't be 
long. This is my first long group home, so I wonder how 
its going to be. 

Well that's it for now, and to all stay up. 


From The Beat: Keep your head up Loony! Maybe this group home is 
your chance at starting again.... Tehn again, you'll only succeed when 
you are ready to make a change in your life. 

It Ain't For Life 

The Beat asked "What are you going to miss the most 
while you serve your time?" 

I will miss my mother, my unborn baby, my baby 
momma, and my ninjas. They got me right now, but I'll be 
back. It ain't for life. I just gotta man up and do my time. 
And I've got to stop doin' things that I think will get me 
off easy. So yeah, I'm a do this time and get out of there. 


From The Beat: Wow, it's good to hear you have so much love waiting for 
you on the outs, a mom, a baby, a girl, friends... Don't just DO the time, 
ask staff to help you USE the time, so you can get stronger and smarter 
and more able to stay free once you are released. 

Your Own Worst Enemy 

I remember I went to a group home and I had 2 more 
weeks to go, and then I hit someone for stealing my 

And another time was when I was at a camp in Salinas, 
I had 3 more days, until I tried to run because I missed my 
grandma too much. 


From The Beat: Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture when you have 
a lot of feelings about what^ going on right then. Where's your grandma 
now? When are you good for yourself? What do you do right? 


P4i^f ^/ 

Stop The City 


stop the city, the city stinks 

No one knows what the city thinks 

Stop the city it's an old man's dream 

Stop the city it's a shhh machine 

Stop the city and liberate ? 

You wanna live a life and the city gets ya! 

When someone tempts you, you can't refuse 

It's getting colder and you know you've got nothing to 



From The Beat: The city can feel like sa\ animal sometimes, big, hungry, 
breathing hot. With the youth sk% its prey. You did a great job here 
of describing how it feels. If the city is a lion, let your voice be its 

Sis' Don't Trip 

If you did a high speed chase 

Sis' don't trip 

If yo' grandpa died 

Sis' don't trip 

If yo' mama was on drugs 

Sis' don't trip 

If yo' brotha in jail 

Sis' don't trip 

If yo' daddy beat you 

Sis' don't trip 

If you cant' pay yo' phone bills on time 

Sis' don't trip 

If you ran from the cops 

Sis' don't trip 

If you got time 

Sis' don't trip 

If people hatin' on you 

Sis' don't trip 

If yo' loved ones died 

Sis' don't trip 

I'm tellin' you don't trip 'cause 

It's gon' get better at the end. 

-Quilla Boe 

From The Beat: We love the way you took a popular song and then 
added a twist all your own, and so now we ask you, do you believe 
your own words? Do you take courage from them? Are you speaking to 
yourself, or to other young women who have struggled? Or a little bit 
of both? 

I Am Legend 

Me I'm a get money ninja 


-Bill Gates 

From The Beat: Well we sort of guessed that from the name you chose. 
We had to edit. Bill. Anything legal or positive you'd like to be known 
for? We always want the Beat to help make peace... 

I Know God Got Ifle, But I Gotta Have Iflyself 

My favorite tattoo is my skull head I got on my right arm. 
It has flames on top of it the meaning is just "live." That's 
what it says under the skuUhead. 

A change - it's stressful being in here, your family 
stressing, not just you. You gotta make a "a change" If 
you wanna stay out of jail you gotta make "a change" not 
for the worst, for the better, and it's on you if you gonna 
change. I know God got me, but I gotta have myself. I'm 
gonna be my own down and I refuse. 

-Lir Fred 

From The Beat: What are some of the ways you can "have yourself"... 
We'd love to here them. What are some of the things you can do to live 
up to the powerful message in your tattoo? 

J L 

I'm Stiil Here 

I'm real ice City some people may call me rude 
and if they wasn't in my business they wouldn't know 
about my attitude. 

I'm not a book so you can't judge me by my cover 
Or read the book and get and idea about me 
And I'll mop anybody so run up if you doubt me 
It is '09 but I'm stuck here in jail and if this place was on 
fire they'd call this place hell 
Off topi'myellin' 

RIP momma an' Laronda an' my bro' Gary too 
'Cause on 9/20/06 

I was there. Officer G shot you, it was supposed to be a 
Sweet Sixteen for me, but you laid there face down lookin' 
like you was sleepin' 

shots to the back and then he cuffed you too, that 's why 
I'm rude. 

RIP uncle IV an Stace, Doobie, Stevie, and JaeJae too. 
It's too many fallen soldiers but nothing I can do. 
So I'm gonna try to live my life, but 
Every day I wake I be like damn, I'm still here. 


From The Beat: We chose "I'm still here" iks your title because after, the 
pain you've felt, the losses you've taken, you are STILL HERE - and your 
poem gives voice to your strength and sorrow and the stories you have 
to share. You were sitting when you wrote this, but the poem stands 
tall. Peace. 

Stop Smoi(ing 

Things that I need to change is to stop smoking because 
I spend a lot of money on that, instead of saving money or 
spending it on stuff that I need the most. 

If I stop smoking I would save my money and probably 
focused in school. I would also stop smoking, because 
if I wasn't smoking I wouldn't argue as much with my 


From The Beat: You've gained a valuable insight about your life. What 
is it about smoking that you like so much? How old were you the first 
time you smoked? How did it make you feel? Do your parents know? Do 
your parents also smoke? 

Tiianits Tiiji) 

I'm in this unit in Alameda County Juvenile Hall, and 
I am writing to thank my staff for being supportive and 
most of all I am thanking my friend this for really looking 
out and helping me be successful in my situation. 

-Young Detainee 

From The Beat: We know we don't need to tell you this, but we will 
nn^-wik^^ The best way you can thank staff, or wrx^one else who cares 
about you, is to thrive! Be strong, be successful, take whatever they've 
taught you and apply it to your life. Good luck and send us good 

Fifteen Minutes of Roc 

What's up Beat, my court date been a swirv. 

I wanna give a shout out to my homeboy Irv 

Doors open man you some bloodthirsty hounds 

Irv got the fresh watch 

Don't drop that on the ground 

Y'all got some 5.0. GO's they really need to go be 5.0. 

They speakin on CO like he don't' go 

What the heck I ain't in the window 

I don't want 15 of rec. 

-Boy Boy 

From The Beat: We loved the laugh you got when this piece was read 
allowed, and are always happy to print your words, both your lighter 
pieces and your more serious ones! 


Not Stressin' 


Man, it's the kid, Lil' Solid, and I've been stuck in this 
thing for six months. I'm two months overdue, and I'm 
about ready to get outta this thang, but if you know me 
seriously the you know I'm not stressin' about nothin', 
'cause I'm in this shhh until tha wheels fall off, and my 
casket drop. 

Even though when I do finally got out I have a lotta 
positive thangs but with me still bein' stuck in here, 
hearin' what's goin' outside, and not bein' able to do me 
with a couple stacks in my pocket like I'm used to, and 
with all that bein' said, I am America's third most wanted, 
plus I'm tha' cat the would love to hate, to love, but man 
just wait until they let tha kid go 'cause like the saying 
goes, "It's only gonna get worse before it gets any better" 
but like I said, I ain't stressin' 'bout shhh. I move to care 
and worry about anything but me, oh yeah. I can't think 
straight until the wheels fall off. 

-Lir Solid 

From The Beat: It's going to be a huge challenge to stay out of outside 
drama, but this is a game you can't afford to lose. Are you actively 
figuring out exactly what concrete steps you need to take to stay out 
of it? Every old habit in you might be screaming that you need to step 
up, but Donte, haven't you given the system enough of your youth, 
haven't you struggled enough, suffered enough? We hope you reach out 
to every single resource available to you, so you have support in the 
new positive directions you are getting ready to take. 


I Sold Drugs Because I Could Not Find A JoF\ 

I think that too clean up the community the city should 
make a program where all the crimes that Juveniles 
commit if it is a non-violent crime, the program will have 
a job for us, within two weeks of our release. 

That way we can stay on the right track, because I 
know I sold drugs because I could not find a job. 


From The Beta: There isn't stn official program exactly like this, but 
believe it or not, there is a program that will help you get a job two 
weeks from the first time you visit them. They are called America Works, 
and they are right off the 12th street BART stop. You are right, you 
deserve choices. Peace. 

My Own Worst Enemy Is On The Streets \ 

My own worst enemy is people on the street 'cause 
people say something about you to somebody else, then 
next thing you know you have another enemy on the 
streets and you don't know why, and they want to shoot 
at you, and fight you, or worst of all they will kill you 
. But as long as I have God, I don't need to worry bout 


From The Beat: Gossip and rumours are clearly dangerous to your 
health! What do you do to deal with this? 

MLK's Dream 

\ Straight to Hell 

To me Obama is trying to change things for the better of 
people. I think Obama is doing the right thing. 

He's just finishing what our people started. Like what 
Martin Luther King started. I think that MLK's Dream has 
finally come true. RIP MLK Jr. 

-Young Huss 

From The Beat: In his inauguration speech, Obama talked about how 
his own father wouldn't have been served in a restaurant when he was 
young, and now his son is president. It's a pretty beautiful thing to 
think about, and we hope it helps you believe that your dreams can 
also come true! 

I I I I 

Icci Iccis Off The Streets 


One thing Obama can do with is start more teen programs 
to keep teens off the streets. You can keep them off the 
streets by starting interesting programs, such as making 
documentaries, or sports programs. Something teens are 
gonna like. 


From The Beat: This is wr% excellent recommendation. Have you ever 
been in a program like this, or known someone who is? The Beat Within 
has internship programs for teenagers interested in learning how to 
make short videos and write articles— if you are interested, you should 
come by our office once you are out! 

Can't Wait 

What's up Beat, this yo' boy Yogi from Oakland. Today 

I'm going to write about when I get out. When I get out I'm 

going to go to school, and get good grades of course. And 

get my money the right way not robbing people for their 

stuff. I will have to go to work in order to have money. 

Then I will help my mom with whatever she needs help in. 

And I'll go to my program, which is GPS. 

'Till next time, see you in the outs: for the people in 

the hall keep yo head up... 

From The Beat: We are glad to hear you talking positive, but what is 
your plan? How will you focus on school and get a job? What are the 
steps you need to take? 

\ I 

A month or two after my birthday I got sent straight to 
hell for an incident that happened months before. Only 
three days in this place I was already feeling like I wanted 
to break out or just hurt anybody who made me madder 
than I already was. I never really thought of jail being a 
hell inside a hell. But at the end of the year, I lost one of 
my friends in this place. 


From The Beat: We are sorry to hear that you had to face these two 
terrible things. How have you kept your spirits up - where do you find 
comfort? We know you have found ways to get through this ordeal, so 
share those ways with The Beat! 


I wish I wasn't here 

This is crazy 

I would drop a tear 

But I ain't no baby 

I try to be strong 

But it's breaking me down 

I wanna go home 

But my home is a ghost town 

Death all around 

And misery lurkin' 

Painful sounds 

Means someone's hurtin' 

I'm almost certain 

It's someone I know 

I see their body 

But the face doesn't show 

I look one mo' 

And then I see 

The one in pain 

Is me 

Rest in Peace baby Skin 

-Young Jay Bee 

From The Beat: These lines feel like they were written directly from your 
soul, speaking to ours, to every reader at The Beat. You take us on a 
journey right to the center of your truth - we hope that writing these 
words eased some of your pain. 


Optimistic Pessimist 


One way that I like to describe me and my thinking is as 
being an optimistic pessimist. I always know what I want 
and just how I'm going to do. But the moment something 
happens that isn't what I planned I do a total 180. I will 
focus on the negative and how everything is ruined. 

An example of this is right now I'm going to a group 
home, not only have I never been to one, but I'm going to 
be 18 in less than a week. I feel that all my freedom and 
independence have been stripped from me. Now I won't 
be able to graduate with my peers, stay in extra-curricular 
programs, and the beginning of my adulthood is going 
to be dictated. The sad thing is my attorney agreed to it 
without my consent. 

I have lost hope, but I'm going to have to play the 
system's little game. 


From The Beat: You S9l^ you lost hope, but then there's that optimistic 
side of your pessimism, right? The side of you that icnows that you may 
have suffered a short term loss but you still have your long term future 
successes to look forward to? Tell us what your plans are after you skip 
this hurdle! 


Learning my Lesson 

I made a big mistake by coming to jail because now I 
have missed out on Christmas and New Years. I'm just 
praying to God that he can lead me in the right path on 
Thursday at court and I can just go home. 

I didn't want to be in jail, but my bad actions put me 
here. This place is not for a young teenager to grow up 
in. I had learned a valuable lesson by being in jail, if I can 
go to school and learn and clean up in jail, I can learn at 
school in the real life. If I can clean in jail, I can go home 
and clean instead of being lazy. I mean, don't nobody 
want to be in jail but hey, look on the bright side, you not 
getting in trouble in here. I mean, you can but you will 
not want to. 

My message to the kids and teens out there is stay 
out of jail. 


From The Beat: Sometimes something big has to happen to us so that we 
can open our eyes and see where we're going in life. Be happy that you 
went to juvenile hall because there are much more worst consequences 
that our actions can bring us. We know that you can make it and change, 
you just have to believe in yourself! 

I Want to Change 

I made a mistake by doing the bad thing that got me in 
here. When I get out, I want to make a change in my life by 
going back to school, get a good education so I can get a 
good paying job, get my high school diploma and a GED. 
Also, set a better example for my younger brother and 
other family members and close friends. Because without 
a good education you will have nothing in this world, 
either you will end up homeless, locked up for the rest of 
your life, drug addict, or even killed. 


From The Beat: We're so glad to see that you're looking back at what 
you've done and realized that you made a mistake instead of blaming _ 
other people, like so many of us do! I 


Talking Change For '09 

My resolution for this year is to build a better relationship 
with my dad and to finish school because I'm about to be 
18, and to be smarter and wiser about what I want to do. 
All and everyone needs to pray and make a goal for 09 for 
the change and better. 

-Melzo Gurl 

From The Beat: The new year is the perfect time to make a change, to 
start fresh. You've set a great goal for yourself, just keep it in your head 
and follow through even after you get out! 

Stop Drinking 

The things I want and need to change is to stop 

Because I don't think about all my circumstances 
before I act. I started drinking when I was a youngster. I 
was about eleven when I started drinking, and now I drink 

If I were to stop drinking then I would probably not be 
in that much of the trouble I been in. I am also trying to 
be a better father to my son so that he can have a better 
life than I did. 

-Young Mickey 

From The Beat: The great Mexican painter Frida ICahIo once wrote "I 
drink to drown my sorrows, but the damned things have learned how 
to swim." She learned the hard way that drinking was destroying her 
life. But because you are away from alchohol in juvy, you are probably 
learning other ways to "drown your sorrows." What are they? Do you 
read, write, talk to people, daydream? Maybe you can use these methods 
to stay sober when you get out? 


Your Iwi Wirst Eneni 


I'm my own worst enemy in a lot of ways. I'll be doing 
good and I'll mess up, it's like I've had so many bad things 
happen to me that I won't allow anything good to happen 
to me. I know it sounds stupid but it's like it's an instinct 
or something. A time when I was my worst enemy is 
when I ran from my first group home when I was about 
to graduate. 


From The Beat: It^ interesting you siky you sabotage your own 
happiness, because this is something that a lot of people who've been 
hurt many times do. It takes time to heal, but it^ important to not lose 
sight of what^ best for you while still in the healing process. You've got 
to keep what's best for you in your head. 

When I Get Dot 

I really want to get out and do something with my life, 
feel me. 'Cause this aint it. I got too much money to make 
and family that I love and miss to be sitting in here doing 
nothing. And off the top when I get out of here I'm going 
to grab me a fresh fit, go eat hella food and be active. Well, 
pray that court date go well, alright then beat. 


From The Beat: We hope that court date goes well, and that when you 
get out you follow through with your goals. While you've got nowhere 
to go though, now is the perfect time to figure out this plan in detail 
- what do you want to do? How can you get there? What^ your first 
step? Work it out! 

I A Depressing Dream 

Sexy smile 

With those sexy lips 

Thinking bout the first time we ever kissed 

Stuck in the moment 

Catching the sparkle of light 

Wondering if I'm alright 

As I go to touch your face and hold on to you tight 

I wake up in the dark 

And realize 

It's the same dream from last night 


From The Beat: Dreams can be a great thing or a horrible thing. 
Dreaming about someone you miss, while tough when you wake up, 
can be really great while you're in it. Being with him won't be a dream 
forever - you'll see each other again. 


//// // 

I'm Going to Change 


I will change by stop hanging around the wrong people 
and go to school everyday and not get suspended; I will 
do everything to keep me busy. I'm going to keep playing 
sports and try to get to play college football. I will work 
out everyday and try to be more healthy and try to watch 
what I eat but when I get out I'm going to eat a lot but I'm 
going to burn it off by working out everyday. That's how 
I'm going to change. 


From The Beat: You have some really great ideas to stay out of trouble 
and get your life back on track. Now put your words to action! 

I'm Gonna Do Me 

Mom, I'm really sorry for what I did but it didn't happen 
like they said it did. Sometimes I think that I came here 
for a good reason, sometimes I think that I'll probably be 
dead if I wasn't here because too much things are going 
on in this world, too many of my friends are dying. 

I'm tired of this gang life, it's fun and all, but it's my 
life I'm playing with. I'm just trying to say I love you and 
I'ma try to stop for you, for my dad, for my family, for me 
and most important, for my God. I'm going to start going 
to school, play basketball, and just do me. I'm going focus 
on my career and be around the right type of people. 


From The Beat: Gang life can lead you to two places: six feet under 
or behind bars. Those two places aren't exactly the best places to be 
or where most people see themselves going. Using your family sk% 
motivation is a great way to start, Jahfanie, we wish you the best! 

II nins li M) Fanll) 

\ I 

To me jail isn't that bad once you get used to it. I like 
being free but being here ain't that bad. When I get out i 
and I got to put in work and it involved going back to I 
jail that doesn't mean nothing to me, so I'm not going to 
think twice about it. Being in jail runs in my family. They 
all been in and out of jail and prison, that's nothing to be 
happy about. 

I want to break that cycle but I'm not trippin' about 
going back to jail. 


From The Beat: It must be painful to lose so many family members to 
incarceration - but we hope you don't get "too used" to it, because 
YOU DESERVE FREEDOM. We all do, and we almost hope you do trip 
off going to jail, because we trip off imagining you there. What about 
dreams - raising children, seeing foreign countries, feeling the sun on 
your face, walking across a graduation stage? You could be the first to 
lead the way. I 


Changing My Ways andStart New 

This year in 2009, since I been in juvenile hall, I've been 
thinking 'bout life. I made a decision when I get out I'm 
going to turn things around in my life. I'm going to start 
attending school, get better grades, and change. I've seen 
what's more important then doing crimes and spending 
my time in juvenile hall, I'd rather be with my loved ones 
and outside of jail, it's really better. 

I just regret doing the things I've done and I just 
wished that I had never done it but it's life, what is done, 
is done. So. I'm just doing my time until I get out and 
I have learned my lesson and that's why I'm going to 
change my ways and start new. 


From The Beat: We all regret something in our life but we always learn 
from those regrets. What will you do to make the changes that you want 
in your life? 

Why Me? 

Damn, I'm sittin back in jail wonderin why me? They 
say everything is done for a reason, but shhh, why me? 
Why do I have to go through this pain? When is it gone 
stop rainin? 

Why do I have nobody to wait for me and love me? 
Shhh, I'm tired, I just gone do me and cut like scissors 
straight up. Screw this program, I'm out. 


From The Beat: We all go through times where it feels like the world 
is against us, that we're being treated unfairly by the universe. This 
feeling sucks, and we're sorry you're going through it right now. Just 
try to keep in mind that you do have control over what you do. You may 
not be able to control what happens to you, but you control how you 
react, what you do with it. 

Your Iwi Wirst Eneni 


I made my worst enemies by coming here and not doing 
the right things, hanging out with the wrong friends, and 
not making good choices. 

How I'm going to do better is to stay out of trouble and 
not hang out with the person that had got me in here. 


From The Beat: This is a great way to start, SayMon, but have you given 
these changes Skny more thought? What will you do to make sure that 
once you change, you'll never go back to your old lifestyle that brought 
you to juvie? 

Stay 'Gaose I Got To Go 

I seen life but never twice 

'cause you fall upon your dreams 
make it hurt in the spot where you drop. 
Delay and scream 
you want to change 
but you can't 

because it's really pretty hard, 
now you do the wrong things by the devil cards. 
I been through it all. 
All the pain against a chains. 
Now I'm locked behind a door 
that won't open for a thang. 
Now I'm stuck in a spot 
I got to choose 
between my fate 
I aint eating home meals 
I'm eating out a county plate. 
And this ain't right, 
I got to look at what I did. 
Bet if I was grown all the time will be big. 
If I thought back at it 
I'm gonna stop with no gig. 

-Lil' Quan 

From The Beat: You've got a talent for rhyming and flowing. Next step 
is the organization - try to pick a theme and stick to it, keep coming 
back to it. The best way to get your views across is to pick the most 
important ones and focus it. 

Next Time 

Next time I get out I'm going to stay out for the family 
'cause they want me back at home cause they have not 
seen me in a long time so that's why they want me back 
home. And for my lady cause she give me some different 
love that no one can give me. 


From The Beat: If being there for your family is what keeps you out of 
trouble, that's great. Make sure you're also in it for yourself - I'm sure 
your family^ not the only ones who would like you to stay out of the 


P4i^f // 



Obama on my momma 

Obama where's Osama? 

Obama the economy is weaker than a llama. 

What you gon' do Obama? 

It's way too much drama 

And you can't go cry to yo' momma. 

So what you gon' do Obama? 

Please don't fall into any trauma. 

-That One Girl 

From The Beat: It's funny, the first part of this poem is mostly just 
riffing on the fun of trying to rhyme with the presidents last name, but 
at the end you really get serious, with a message of the hope that many 
of us have that this leader will be able to help the country steer its way 
through danger, and also stay out of danger himself! 

(luge is Diffieilt 


Everyone is talking about change. 

Change is a very difficult thing to do, because it takes 
a lot of effort to change to and accomplish your own goals. 
A change it's really in you, a change makes a difference in 
our world, it makes a safer zone if the change is for good. 
When I was a kid at the age of 10 I loved cars, I wanted 
to be a car designer. I used to buy a lot of cars with cool 
designs. Now I am going to start college classes in here 
about business. 

-Sad Boy 

From The Boy: Change is hard, you are so right. But if thereS anyone 
who could change his life to something positive, it's you. What kind of 
car would you want to design? Do you think more about the body, or the 
engine? Have you thought of the new technologies people use to design 
cars now? Have you thought of trying to apprentice at a garage? 

ign I 

Can't stop I Wish I Gould Stop 

What it don't do Beat? Guess what? 
I can't stop popping pills 

I can't stop lurking at night to find a sweet lick. 

I can't stop hitting up the block to mess with the homies 
blowing yay and hop. 

I can't stop coming back to the hall lookin at these 

I can't stop getting into beef 'cause that is the way I eat. 

I can't stop going home to hear my auntie, like... 
" why are you high you just like yo brother you gone die 
and go to hell and fry." 

Before I sell myself I'll lose everything 
you could lock me up 100 times and get out and do the 
same thang. 

You can't take this street shhhh from me 
aint no other game don't get this shhh confused ninja 
that's all I bleed. 

I only speak on what I done been through and what I'd 

I'd rather kill myself before I live a lie before I ever turn 
informant, ninja, 

I rather fry. My mama lost me to the hood I told her that's 
where I'm gone die. 

I told her if she understood real, she'd understood me, 
she understand why I say screw this mama, these fools 
hand us lies. 

This to all my young ninjas running wild I'm out here 
witch ya. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you think you're either true to the streets, 
or you're a snitch. The truth is that^ not the case. You don't have to be 
at one extreme or the other - that's what moderation is. The idea is to 
find a way to stop getting yourself into trouble, without getting others 
in trouble. It is possible, you just have to open your eye%. 

I will make a change by start hanging out with the right 
kids that make better choices, and I will start trying 
harder in school. I will stay home instead of going out with 
friends when they are gonna make the wrong choices. I 
will start playing more sports, I will go to college and get 
a good job. 

My dream is to become a professional football player. 
I would play wide receiver and I would practice everyday. 
I'm going to get good grades in school so that I can go 
to college and play football. If I get the chance to play 
football I would like to play for the San Francisco 49ers. 


From The Beat: Those are big dreams, but we know that you can make 
those dreams a reality. What do you have to do to get your goals 

My Own Worst Enemy 

Now I understand when people say they're their own 
worst enemy 'cause whenever I'm about to do good and 
get off probation I mess up again. I had less than two 
months left but then I gave in and got another six months 
added probation and one month locked up. 

Then recently after I was doing good seven months 
clean, I slipped up. Been locked up almost 2 months now 
waiting on placement and probably gonna be on probation 
till I'm 18 when I only had three more months till I was off 

If it wasn't for my stupid thinking aint none of this 
would have happened. I don't know why it happens but 
it seems every time you get close to success something 
pulls you down. Hopefully this year that will all change. 


From The Beat: You can hope for it, but you can also work for it. Lots 
of times when we mess our own stuff up it^ out of impulse, we didn't 
think it through. So, a good way to stop this habit is to force ourselves 
to think everything through before we act. It takes a while to make this 
a habit, but try it out for a while. 

No More Hot Stuff 

I want to change my life because being in juvenile hall is 
not the spirit. Once I get out, I bet I want do no more hot 
stuff no more and the staff and stuff will never, ever see 
me back in here in their life. 

From The Beat: What will you do, specifically, to stay out of the hall? 


I'n Back Hail 

Damn it I'm back again. I said I wasn't gone come back 
for a second time but look like I'm back. They talking 
about letting me out on GPS and I think I need it, that's 
the sad part. But I'ma pimp it 'cause I through with my 
friends, they fake and I always get in to bad things when 
I'm around them, no more. So I aint coming here no more 
I'ma be in the house with my girlfriend, aka the weez'l, 
that mean the wifey. Man I love that girl, I can't wait to 
get out and be with her. 

When I with her I don't never think about bad things. 
It's like she the good side of me, she only wants me to 
do right and I am just for her. My mom and my sister and 
brother, that's who gone keep me out of trouble. 


From The Beat: Having people in your life who care about you support 
you is so important to you being able to stay out of trouble. Keep these 
people close, listen to them, and do right by them. 

I'm Not A Number 

Hey Beat, this yo' girl Banana. I went to court Monday, 
January 5th, 2009, and not a damn thing happened. I go 
back Friday, January 9th, 2009. The DA trying to make 
me a 602 or a 702. 1 don't care. They just numbers. I know 
who I am, and I'm not no number 

I am Banana. I'm tall and I do not look like no number. 
I'm trying to go home. I'm about to be 19 May 7th. I don't 
need to be here at all. I can be playing ball right now. But 
it cool 'cause USF said I can still play ball and make it to 
the WNBA. 

But yeah, to my hubby, I love you and miss you. 
And to all here and at the Ranch, keep yo' head up, and 
keep praying to that good man God. Well that all. Love, 


From The Beat: Those numbers don't tell us who you are. Banana, but 
they can make a difference to your future, so you have to take them 
seriously. We definitely hope that USF and the WNBA are in your future. 
But you already know that being a talented basketball player isn't 
enough to guarantee that. You also have to be a good student. And to 
do that, you have to be — and stay — free. Don't let anything (including 
your "hubby") get in the way of that! 

Waiting 'Tii I'm 18 To Ciiange 

What's up with The Beat, mayne? This ya boy Jerry Geez 
back up in this thang, yamsayin'? I ain't feeling the topic, 

Last time I was here I was here for the same shhh. 
I was talking 'bout I wasn't gon come back, and here I 
am. I'd like to say I'll change, but then I'll just be lying to 
myself 'cause I know that when I get out, I'ma go back to 
the block with the homies, and smoke and drink and get 
into some more trouble. 

When I turn 18 though, I'ma fasholy stop, 'cause then 
things get worser, yamsayin, like things that we getting 
months for in here we start getting years, and ja know I 
ain't 'bout to do that. 


From The Beat: This is a very dangerous strategy, Jerry, because all 
kinds of things jump off on the block, even when you don't expect or 
want them to. How many chances do you think you get? Why would 
you put off making the changes you know you need to make on the 
grounds that you're willing to give up weeks and months of your life 
to the system, but not years? Why would you be willing to give up any 
time to be under the thumb of strangers telling you what to do? You 
don't suddenly become mature just because you turn 18. It^ time to 
start thinking like an adult. Otherwise, you might find yourself in that 
I "if only" situation when it% too late to change. I 

I I I I I r 

I'm Be Bacii 


Man, I be back to the block one day. They got me down 
right now, but I'm good. Just waiting for that day that the 
judge say, "Released." You know when I get back home, 
I'ma holla at the thugs one time. RIP to the homies. Thug 
in peace, big bra. We gone meet again bra bra. 

Man, I'm just tryna get out and do my thang, talk to 
my ol' lady. You know how it is out here. It's hard, and 
I'm out here living it. I gotta eat on these streets and live 
on these streets, and I'ma die on these streets. I'ma G, 
but chu know, ninjas is getting' killed out here in '08 and 

Man, I seen a lot of shhh on these streets, but I love 
my streets though 


From The Beat: It^ should be obvious to you by now that nobody matter 
how much you love these streets, they don't love you. They don't love 
anyone. They're nothing more than streets without hearts. We're hoping 
you'll see this in time to respect your own living heart more than the 
cold, uncaring streets, so that you don't have to answer to strangers 
telling you what to do, or worse... It^ what you do after the judge 
releases you that we hope you give some serious thought to. 

Everyone's Taliiing Ciiange, Are You? 

This yung Dri. What's up with The Beat? Check this out. 
I'ma change for the better. It's '09. It's time for me to step 
my game up. I need to do the right thing. I'm getting too 
old to keep on doing kiddie shhh, so I know it's best for 
me to change for me and for my family. 


From The Beat: Good for you. As the Bible says, "When I was a child, 
I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. 
When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways." (1 Corinthians 

Stuff Liiie mat 

I feel like I'm my own worst enemy because people is 
always on my back, and stuff like that. I have to show 
them that I'm not a punk, and stuff like that. 


From The Beat: We wish you would expand on these two sentences 
by explaining what "stuff like that" means. Why do you have to show 
"them" you're not a punk, or anything else. You only have to show 
yourself what you are capable of doing, and forget the rest. 

\ My Worst Eoemies 

Let me tell you something that I heard last week that has 
been runnin' through my mind because it so true: "Your 
three worst enemies are, yourself, money and women"... 
That quote has been in my head all week. It's had me 
thinking because those three things, it's what makes 
people's lives miserable. 

"More money, more problems." The more money 
you get, the more haters; the more issues, the more 

I Women — all they do is mess with you, make you fall 

for them and break your heart! Just brings more stress 
and pain to you. 

And then your worst, worst enemy, yourself! You and 
you only can decide what to do with your life. You could 
either take the good path or the bad path, make good 
decisions or bad. 

Only you know what's best for you. Always remember. 
"Your worst enemies: yourself, money and women." 

-Yung Chuy 

From The Beat: We don't think you (or we) always know what's best 
for ourselves. Sometimes, what we think is best turns out not to be 
L so. We also don't think women are necessarily your enemy, any more 
than money is. It^ all in how you approach those two topics and how 
you relate to them in your life. Money is nothing more than a tool, not 
an end in itself. As for women, some of the greatest human beings in 
history are women. When you say women are one of the three worst 
enemies you have, does that include your mother? Think about it. 

Day By Day 

What's up with The Beat, mane. I'm back in here from 
being out for eight months, and I'm going through this 
stuff day by day again. Man, I got trial tomorrow, and I 
hope it go right for me for real! 

But yeah, I'm going with what god put in my way 
because I'm not the type to just sit and stress about 
it. I'ma make the best out of whatever I do! But on that 
note, I'm down for my lil' sis, J-Ray. That's why I'm going 
through this stuff day by day! 

But anyway, that's all I gotta say. Hopefully I get out 
tomorrow or so, and go back to doing right. So with said, 
RIP J-Ray. I miss you sis! 


From The Beat: After eight months, what pushed you off the path you 
were on? What advice could you give to other, younger boys, who think 
they can escape the consequences of misbehavior? We hope you find 
your way back to "doing right" as you say you will. 

stop Crying: A Dialogue 

Hey Beat, this yo' girl Banana. 

Sis: Stop crying Banana. It's going to be ok. 

Banana: I can't stop crying. I miss my fam bam. 

Sis: Do they come see you? 

Banana: Yes, my god mom, but my big bra can't and 

neither can my little bra or my twin sister. 

Sis: Well, I'm here for you. 

Banana: You are not my blood, but it's cool. 

Sis: Well, it's cool. We like blood. 

Banana: I know I love you like if you was my real sis. 

Sis: I love you too. When do you go back to court? 

Banana: January 9th 2009. You? 

Sis: January 12th 2009. 

Banana: That's good. Well I'm sleepy. 

Sis: Wake up. 

Banana: Ok, I'm up. What do you want? 

Sis: Let's go play ball. 

Banana: I wish. 

Sis: Ha, ha, ha! 

Banana: That's not funny. 

Sis: Yes it is. 

Banana: No it's not. 

Sis: Yes it is. 

Banana: Bye. 

Sis: Where you going? 

Banana: Away from you. 

Sis: Ok. Bye. 

Banana: All right Beat, to be continued... next week. 


From The Beat: We wish you two would do a little less playing with your 
words and a little more serious thinking and teaching. When sisters love 
each other, they keep each other out of trouble. How do you two plan 
to keep each other (and yourselves) out of trouble? 

The Year Got Better 

My Worst Eneoiy 

My worst enemy is all of these fake friends. You think 
you can trust them, then they stab you in the back or 
they do something to set you up. They trick you and end 
up somewhere bad in your life. 

I think something should change in life is people 
always getting into violence. Everybody just needs to 


From The Beat: No one can really set you up if you know what's right 
and wrong, and can say "No" to those who want you to do wrong. Of 
course, saying "No" takes courage, so we don't know if you have what 
it takes to do it. But in the end, it's in your hands. (We combined your 
two topics into one, because we want you to choose just one topic to 
write more about. If you choose more than one, you really can't write 
much about them.) 


Getting Dot Aod Stayiog Out 

What's poppin' with The Beat? Man, this y'all lil' bra Twin. 
Man, I'm gettin' out in a few days, feel me. So you know, 
I'ma just do me and stay out of trouble. Man, I'ma just lay 
low and do my thang, just get a job, get my cheddah, an' 
start from there. 

I'ma just try to get off probation and watch my back, 
'cause man, too many snakes out hea'. Can't trust nobody. 
But yeah, don't let the grass grow too long because it's 
too many snakes. But yeah, ya lil' bra just gonna lay back 
an' do his thang. 

-Lir Twin 

From The Beat: You can't control the people you describe as "snakes." 1 
All you can do is make sure you're not one of them. We hope you follow 
through on your plan to get off probation and stay away from the 
things that lead you here, because freedom beats slavery every day of i 
your life! I 

.••-.l;r 1 

2008 was fun and adventurous. I went to parties did 
other things. But I also had bad times, got jumped, had 
fights etc. But I went through those obstacles and got 
through 'em. This year started bad, but then after it start 
getting good 'cause I met my man. 


From The Beat: We always worry when good or bad depends on a man... 
You have to find the strength inside yourself to want to free of the life 
that leads to places like this, whether there^ a man in your life or not. 
Word to the wise! 

2009 Will Be Better Thao 2008 

What up Beat Within? 

I had the hardest year ever. 2008 everything just 
happened to me. I almost got killed. I got hit by a car. 
That when I started coming to YGC, and ever since then, 
I keep coming back. 

Only good thing that happened was Obama became 
the president, so that gone make 2009 great for me. 


From The Beat: We don't quite understand why your near-death 
experience started the pattern of you getting locked up. What^ the 
connection? Anyway, we like your optimism about 2009 and our new 
President! He^ going to change things, so you have to change things. 

Your Own Worst Eneoiy 

My own worst enemy is me, because when I start 
smoking and drinking, I do stupid things, like go and rob 
somebody for the fun of it. 

It all started when I turned ten and I was on the block 
with my homies. Then I seen them smoking, and I asked 
them if I can smoke. They said I can, and then they passed 
it to me. Ever since then I been high 24/7 and doing stupid 
things. That's why, when I get out, I'm going to change 
and I'm not coming back here, 'cause I been thinking all 
about how my mom been feeling and how much she been 
stressin'. So when I get enrolled in school, I'm going to 
make my mom proud. I love you, momma. 

-H. Potter 

From The Beat: Does this mean you will stop drinking and smoking? If 
you don't, you can expect to continue doing stupid things, and continue 
stressing out your mom. But if you do what you say you want to do — 
go to school clean and sober — you will make both your momma and 
I you proud of yourself. 

' I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 

I'nia Get It Bight 

I have sabotaged my life 'cause things were going right 
for me. We all make mistakes, yeah, it's true. Committing 
a crime got me in here, 

and they not tryna let me out. Throwing the book at me, 

about my future — no college, no kids. 
It's lookin' all bad 

Spending time in the room thinking 'bout dad 
Most times we don't know what's the outcome of what 
we do 

So, we don't care what happens as long as we get 

Let me go home and live my life and I bet I'ma get it right 


From The Beat: You may be right that "they" are forgetting about your 
future, but that^ easy to do; you were forgetting about your own future 
when you took the risk that led you here. The best way to look at it is 
that this is temporary, a time-out along a path that still could lead to 
college, kids and all that you hope for. You'll have another chance to 
"get it right," even if that chance doesn't come as fast as you'd like it 

Lock Down 

I'm locked down in this box, but you know how now it 
goes. Every day, I think about when I'm going home one 
day, or it might be the next day, or it might be another 
day. But it's all right. 

But when Mix touch down, it's going to be a long 
night. I'ma do me. To hell with who they want me to be. 
I'm keep it real. My first love is my streets. 


From The Beat: In the spirit of iceeping it real, if you "do you" in the 
same way you've been doing you (loving the streets enough to hand 
away your freedom), then you can count on the system to do the system 
— meaning, be prepared to be spending a lot more time in the exclusive 
company of other males, because that is what you are choosing. I 

Something Pnsitive, Snmething Negative^^ 

If I had the power to change the economy, I would make 
the juvenile halls better by making sure they have hot 
water, better food, warmer water, and things like that. I 
would also make sure there were more jobs for people. 

For some reason I felt the need to carry a gun on New 
Year's Eve. I wish I didn't feel like I needed to, or else I 
would've been at home laying in my bed right now. That's 
when I was my own worst enemy. 


From The Beat: We're sure the conditions of every jail, including juvenile 
hall, could be made better. But maybe if we put some more money into 
the communities, we wouldn't need so many jails to begin with. We won't 
comment on the gun situation (you already know the consequences of 
that choice), except to say that The Beat wants you to choose just one 
topic to write about so that you can give us more details about it. 

Skip's Broadcast: Vaine My Freednm 

Man, it's amazing how it take people to lose something 
to trip and realize how precious that something is. My 
freedom is something I lost and didn't fully appreciate it. 
I was out and trippin' like it's beautiful out here, and later 
that day I was here. I know it's brief, but it's real. 


From The Beat: Oh yes, so real... Can you tell us how your new 
appreciation for freedom will affect your actions when you regain it? 

Tryln' To Be More 


Last time I was at church, I wore a Ed Hardy fit. What 
does matter is not how your dress. It's the praise and love 
for Jesus. Plus, I found out that the best women are in 
church. I also took my kid with me. It was memorable. 


From The Beat: We're glad you are getting something positive out 
of going to church. Belief in god and religious teachings can be very 
powerful tools to keep you free and positive. (Plus, you can meet "the 
best women.") 

I'm Back!! 


I'm back on some phony shhh, but they can't hold a 
ninja down for long. I just been outside of the halls for 
six months blowin' fat 'dro, beatin' up the streets with ma 
goons, ya heard me! 

I just want to get to the block. To hell with what 
everybody else talking 'bout... I really want to go home 
and smack some ninjas on grand theft auto, yamsayin... 
Ya boy checkin' out. 

-Lir Goo 

From The Beat: Is there some connection between "beatin' up the streets" 
with your "goons," smoking "fat 'dro" and coming back to this place? If 
so, you better rethink your determination to keep doing what you do, 
'cause the system is certainly going to keep doing what it does. 

We gettin' high in the box seats. 

You sittin' in ah nose bleed. 

Yeah, we laughin' at y'all ninjas, the girlies came wit' us 

Ninjas in here got papa, they tryna get it 

We ain't trippin', we tryna live it up 

We born hustlas who neva gave up 

An' the level of Gs made money in ma sleep 

Tryna exit the game but a ninja can't escape 

I found myself insane 

I'm losing my brain 

My mind, where did I go, 'cause I ain't the same 

Where did I go wrong? I ask myself but I can't explain 

Drug dealer ain't as easy as it seems 

I'm just ah ninja true 

But to be more is my dream, ya know 


From The Beat: Even though we had to take out some of your lines 
(self-incriminating), we hope your dream to be more is the focus of your 
thinking. What "more" do you want to be, and what^ the best way 
to get there without risking your life or your freedom? Finding the 
answers to those questions can move you farther and farther away from 
places like this! 

Bepplng My Siiiih 

Yeah, it's ha boy D-RoUa. I'm holding it down in the max 
unit in YGC. Man, staff up here be eating all our food and 
be acting hella sick. Yeah, but ninjas ain't sick up in here, 
like they be hoUerin' on the streets. 

Ey, keep ya head up. Y'all can get through this. But 
man, they tryin' to give ya boy 15 years without an L. But 
it's cool. I am going to stay repping my shhhh. 


From The Beat: When will you start repping yourself, and not somebody 
else's idea of what and who^ important? There comes a time when you 
have to start thinking for yourself, and we hope that time comes soon. 
We don't think it^ cool to give up even a day to a system that can't care 
about you the way you should be caring for yourself. We hope you don't 
have to do those years they want to give you. 

Beai Ninja Every Day! 

Bax-Uh-Billion aka Yung Dooda 

Real ninja every day-365 

And when I talk to you, I don't look off 

I look ya in ya eye 

Sissy ninja in ya, I'ma get it out cha every time 

And I done made it to where you a phony 

Ninja, you can't survive 

I speak da true for y'all ninjas living lies 

I know the streets homie, I don't know the otha side 

Street ninjas is the ones who gave me the drive 

Real ninja first trap ninja by accident 

A street critic and product of my environment 

Me being a phony ninja is something that was neva 


And neva vibe wit phony ninjas, that's common sense 

Me being a real ninja is all I done eva been 

P.S to The Beat Within: 

This needs to make it because these lil' ninjas need to 

know it don't take the streets to make you "real" lil' 

homie. "Straight like that! 

-Yung Dooda 

From The Beat: We appreciate your efforts to school those younger than 
you about what it means to be real. The problem is, the definition of 
"real" changes from person to person. You warn that the "phonies" won't 
survive, but the reality is that none of us will survive. We are all moving 
toward the same final end; only the roads we take to get there are 
different. We have one journey in this world, and it matters whether 
you are the director of that journey, or whether you hand over direction 
to others. 

I'm Still Me 

A ninja tryin' so hard to get his life in order befo' I hit 
that dirt, but it's hard, 'cause this hot shhh is all I know. I 
been doin' this shhh fo' too long, so I actually feel that it's 
normal. But this shhh is old, and cost too much. I ain't 
worried 'bout doin' time; that ain't too much of a problem. 
It's the fact that I miss too much when I'm down. 

But every time I go down, I learn more. I see shhh 
different every time. I got a lil' female, an' I'm putting her 
on to see shhh my way an' how to think 'bout me an' 
her, like I do, feel me? I told her what I need from her, 
and how and when I do certain shhh What I really like 
about her is that she don't ask hella questions an' don't 
care to know anything illegal. At first I was lookin' at her 
like she don't care 'bout me, but shhh kept tellin' me she 
did. Then I seen as if them people come knockin' or I get 
snitched on, she don't know shhh to tell. She know the 
life I'm livin', an' she got a baby, so I understand where 
she comin' from. 

That's how most relationships mess up, lack of 
communication an' lies. I told my female, as long as she 
keep it real, it shouldn't be no problems. An' fo' real, 
what's the point of lyin'? If she love you, then it shouldn't 
matter what she tell you, especially if it's the wife, feel 
me? The wife should know almost everything most of the 
time, if you word it right an' wait 'til she ready. Y'all gon' 
come to an agreement, but then again, you gotta have a 
good reason. I'ma dip to the next topic. 


From The Beat: What we can't understand. Cam, is why you would risk 
losing a relationship with a female like this by doing the things she 
doesn't want to know about? After time, why should she stay with you 
when you have left her behind? You're right that relationships that 
work are based on honesty and trust, but no relationship can for long 
when those in it are separated. Does her love make you want to change 
some of how you live on the outs? If so, in what ways? If not, what do 
you expect will happen? As for doing time not being much of a problem, 
once you hit state prison — which we hope you never do — you'll find it 
becomes a real problem real fast! I 



A Recommenilation To The President 

With a billion dollars, I think the President should build 
a place for kids where they get to do activities and keep 
them out of the streets. Also, I think he should help the 
homeless with shelter. 

-Billion Dollar Idea 

From The Beat: We think these are good suggestions, and hope the 
President takes them seriously. 

Missing Her 

I miss my girl 

She miss me, too 

Every day I think of you 

Hope to god that I stay with you 


From The Beat: You've got to do more than just "hope to god." You've 
got to do things differently. Is that your plan? 

We Are Not Animals 


I think they need to let me out and stop messing with me 
while I'm on the streets. I don't think they should lock 
nobody up. We are not animals. Animals should be the 
only thing that need to be locked up. 


From The Beat: You say the system should stop messing with you when 
you're on the streets. But the system says you should stop messing with 
others when you're on the streets. What^ the difference between you? 

Locked Up During Holiilays 

These past couple of weeks consisted of Christmas and 
New Years. If you were locked down for these holidays, it 
was hard for most. We all wish we were out with family. 
Even though you were locked down, you should keep ya 
head up, 'cause some day you will get out. And when that 
day comes, you will be free. If you keep ya head up, you 
will be free in your head. 


From The Beat: And if you are really free in your head, you will be able 
to figure out a way to stay free in your body, when that time comes 

Gao't Holil Us Forever 

Man, what's good with The Beat? They still got ya boy 
D-Boom in this thang. Shhh, phony fa real, 'cause they 
ain't tryin' to let me up out this thang. 

But it's good 'cause they can't hold ya boy down 
forever, ya dig. We all gon touch down one day. 

To all my goons and young thug thugs, one love. 


From The Beat: Okay, so you're going to touch down one day. And then 
what? Unless you have a good answer to that question, you aren't using 
your time, you're letting it use you. 

Man, Change 


Yeah, this ha boy D-B. Man, change. I mean, yeah, 
everybody need a change 'cause I'm sho everybody need 
to change. Brothers sick of being in here. 

Me? This is the last time I'ma be in here. Next stop is 
the pen fo' me. So I need to stop slippin' and stop getting' 
wrapped, ya dig. Right now I'm away from my family, 
my goons. And most of all, my wifey. Really love her to 


From The Beat: We hope your love for your woman will allow you to 
make the changes you know you have to make if you want a life with 
her — and not a life surrounded only by other males! 

I17er]rnne's Talking Change, Are You? 

Hell no! I hear everyone around me say that they going 
to change their lives. That's cool. But me? No. The only 
change that I'm going to make is to get out of the system. 
But once I get out of my group home, I'm going back to 
what I do best. This is my sixth time being locked and 
this is my first time writing to The Beat. 


From The Beat: Well, if what you do best has led you to lock-up six 
times, then you better find something else you're truly good at. That 
change you promise — to get out of the system — won't last long if you 
go back to doing "what you do best." 

Same Ul' Shhh! 

What's s'up with The Beat? This yo' boy, Tizzle, down 
here at the Ranch. But, yeah, I ain't got that long to be up 
here. Man, it's just takin' forever for me to get up out of 
here. I'm just go' sit back an' do this time. It's nothing. I 
been doing time. But, yeah, I don't got that much to say. 
I'm gone. 


From The Beat: As long as doing time is "nothing," then you'll do 
nothing to change what leads to places like this. When does time 
become something? After a week? A month? A year? A lifetime? Think 
long and hard about this, because time is all we have, and when it's 
gone, it^ gone forever! 

Going To Keep Out Of Trouble 

This is ya boy, God Ali, posted on this thang for 38 days, 
on my way to a grouper. About to do my thang, finish it, 
go to school, get a job, stack my dough. About to get out 
back to the block, keep out of trouble. 

-God Ali 

From The Beat: How are you going stay out of trouble back on the 
block? Finish school. That should be your one and only goal until you 
achieve it! 

Your Own Worst Enemy 

I was my own worst enemy when I picked up the "thang". 
I started getting in trouble. I thank God I didn't get caught 
up, but I know what I did. I started messin' up at the 
schoolhouse. I messed up my attendance and my juvie 
record, startin' to get phat. When I decided to get my shhh 
together, I got in my own way by bein' with the shhh... on 
a hot one. I'm my own worst enemy. 


From The Beat: Okay, you list lots of examples of how you have 
sabotaged yourself. But why? And even more important, how do you 
plan to change this pattern so that you can become your own best 


I lii't tlaniiii, For Real! 

\ I 

What's good with The Beat? Man, to keep it really real, I 
ain't changin' nothin' about me, for real. Man, right now I 
don't care about nothin' but my thugs and my family. And 
when I leave this Ranch, I'ma get out and do the same 
thing. These white people can't hold me down foreva, ya 
dig? It's a new year and I'm makin' shhh hurt. I'm out. 


From The Beat: Can you really care about your family when you're so 
willing to keep doing the things that you know lead to being taken 
from your family, leaving them in tears? Just saying that you care about 
your family doesn't convince us that it's true. Caring for someone or 
something requires far more than words. As for the childish belief that 
"white people can't hold you down forever," try telling that to the more 
than 200 children (under 18) serving life-without-parole sentences in 
this state alone. Each one believed "they" couldn't be held down forever, 
and each one will never again see the light of day. 

Jail OoesD't Matter To Me 

What's up with The Beat? I'm here writing again, but 
I still locked up in la Juvenile. But I ain't tripping. It's 
cool. I'm writing about mi caso (my case) 'cause the jura 
(cops) tryin' to give 25 to life for some shhh I didn't do. 
But you know, la jura always tryna play you porque eres 
pandillero (because you're in a gang). 

But I don't trip to be here in that carcel (jail). Me 
preocupo (I'm only worried) about mi jefita (my girl). 
But you know what's up with the gang bangers. No les I 
importa estar aqui (it doesn't matter to them to be here). ■ 
But I care about mi jefita. 

Damn, I worried about my baby mama. She is 
embarazada tiena 3 months (three months pregnant). But 
it's cool. I hope I'ma be out when mi morrito nazca (my 
baby is born). That's all I want to. 

I be here for long time so I'm going to write again. Al 
rato les vuelvo a escribir. (Okay, I'll write again.) This vato 
is out. Alrato! 


From The Beat: The longer you live as a prisoner, the more important 
freedom will become to you. When you finally see that giving your life 
away to a system that doesn't care about you isn't cool, then and only 
then will be you begin to see the difference between being a man and 

I being a child. We only wish you had seen it before you brought yet 
another life into this world when you couldn't even take care of the one 
you had... your own! 

My Baby Girl 

Ah, Beat, it's Lil' Unlucky. Yeah, that's right, I failed 
placement. I'm back in the halls, missing my baby girl 
like crazy. Just want to hold her tight. I swear I'll never 
let her go again. That's fo' reals. I told this girl I love her, 
which I haven't said and meant in a long time, but it's too 
bad. I fell for her while they had yo' boy on the run. But 
like Huss said, "I'm on the run, havin' fun, but I know I'll 
feel the pain soon." And, yes, I'm feelin' the pain now on 
my way to Sac Town for my third placement. 

The judge say it's my last chance to knock out my year 
of time or they gon' send my ass outta state, so I gotta do 
what I gotta do. I'm hoping my girl gon' stay strong while 
her "real ninja's" gone. I'ma miss her mucho, but it's time 
to handle my shhh. I took her to jail twice since we started 
messin' around, and she locked me up accidentally, too, 
and she gon' save my life by this. I love her with all my 
heart. She gon' be my "Ride or Die" and I'ma be her "real 
ninja" 'til the man up above says otherwise. 

All readin' this shhh, you obviously got a girl that you 
thinkin' about, so hold on tight, 'cause you don't know 
what you got 'til it's gone. Much love an' respect. Stay up 
an' take care of yo' shhh. Stay up. 'Til next time. 

-Lir Unlucky 

From The Beat: 'They" didn't have you on the run; you had yourself on 
the run, so you should have been prepared for the consequences. You're 
feeling the pain of your own actions, but so are a lot of other people 
feeling that pain, like your girl, your mom, your loved ones. If you 
want to be the man in her life, it^ time to handle things like a man. 
Sometimes, to be an adult means doing what we don't want to do today 
so that we can do what we want to do tomorrow. 

I I I I I I I I 

A Cappelia 

I don't do The Beat, man, so I'm go a cappelia with this 
shhh. Well, let me tell you why. 

These ninjas don't neva put my shhh in The Beat. But 
anyways, take it like how I'ma tell you, "Damn my PO. 
I ain't gone stop grindin'. Violate me if you want. Gone 
have to find me. You could find me on the block to alley 
grindin', like every goddamn day, like a Friday. 


From The Beat: You can keep grinding all you want. But when you open 
your eyes, maybe you'll realize that it^ your PO who is in a position to 
damn you, and not the other way around. You've been here long enough 
to know this; if you choose to ignore it, then you choose to accept the 
consequences you're now experiencing. 


Everyooe Taiidng Gliange 

Most people who pop that "change" word be lyin'. It just 
sound good. People just like saying, "change," because 
most people want to hear theyselves speak. When a 
person say, "It 2009, time for a change," they just want to 
act like they trying to act like they was sent from heaven. 
But in reality, they be talking out the side of the neck, 
like these "boys" out here. 

I hate when people use Obama making President 
as a sign that anything can happen. It's not true. So, to 
anybody who saying , "Change is coming," shut up with 
all the talking and show me some change. 

-Shotty G 

From The Beat: Forget about all the others saying they're going to 
change (whether they're fronting or not), and focus on yourself. It's 
true that Obama's election does not mean "anything can happen," but 
for anyone old enough to remember "Colored Only" and all that those 
words stood for, it proves that change is possible. If you are saying 
that you have no plans to change yourself, that^ a choice you make. 
But don't ever doubt that others are capable of change if they choose 
to make it. So don't tell us about "people." Tell us about you. What will 
you choose? 

You Say We Free 

You say we free 

Then why you stuck in one area 

Can't go outside your boundaries 'cause 

Ninjas wanna bury you 

For reasons uncertain 

Young ninjas dying so rapidly now 

It's like, "Damn! We lost him too!" 

And you say we free 

Talking about you got freedom of speech 

Staying in one part of town can't expand your brain 

The sky impossible to reach 

That hopeless feelin', 

Thinkin' the only thing you can do right is sleep 

And you say we free 

Trapped in a concrete jungle 

Where everybody wants to be a lion 

Feelin' there's no sense in climbin' to the top 

Because ninjas on the streets are like crabs in a bucket 

Always puUin' you down 

And you say we free 

Then why we cheat our brains 

It's hard to be creative with the cells that remain 

Minds trapped in chains inside a cage 

Screamin' for freedom 

But blunt smoke and alcohol are the only things you fee 


(Talkin' 'bout food for thought) 

And you say we free 

Livin' on the edge waitin' to get pushed 

Black on black crime is reaching an all-time high in the 

record books I 

It's hard to focus on the path ahead I 

When you always have to give your shoulder an overload 

And you say we free ■ 

Lack of self motivation keepin' ninjas in altercation | 

Lack of destination leads to no demonstration for our 


So they entertainment is the only thing you can do 

And if we free 

Why we livin' with no sense of reality 

Young ninjas dyin' fast 'cause they want respect 

Like, "Your majesty" 

And you say we free 

But in all actuality, we sill livin' in slavery 

Minus the visual chains 

Now, society holds us captive with visuals to the brain 

It's a shame how jingles make people go insane 

Dismantle their game 

And you tellin me we free 

Most people speak love for each other 

Will have the shackles off our feet 

Now ask yourself... 

Are you free??? 

-D-Boii, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is a first-class demonstration of the deep thinicing 
you are capable of, and with deep thinicing can come a kind of freedom 
(though, in truth, none of us is truly free from our upbringing, our 
conditioning, our circumstances). But this poem shows that one can 
begin to free himself, to remove the shackles from the mind that keep 
us imprisoned. If society is holding you captive, what can you do to 
break the chains they've put on your brain? And what can you do to 
lead others out of slavery? 

Put Money In My Community 

I would put in my community a lot of business an' money 
in stores like clothes store. I would put in a lot of repairs 
for my 'hood an' street. I would put a lot of money into 
my lil' homies' programs, too, like sports, like football 
and basketball. 


From The Beat: These are good suggestions. (We couldn't read your first 
name, so we used your initials. Take a little more time when you write 
so we can read it...) 


I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 

My Block 

Shhh, on ma block I see a ninja drop almost every day... 

A ninja got to jail every day... 

Shhh, that's all a ninja know 

So why not get with the shhh, feel me 

Forget the police... and the Bart police 

-Lil* Goo 

From The Beat: The answer to your question ("why not get with the 
shhh") is so simple: because it leads to the kind of slavery you're 
experiencing right now... or worse. 

Making Them Think I'm A Nerd 

Chea, mayne. You know this ya boy, Yung Spunks. You 
know, man, I'm on that low. I blow mo' dro fo' tro' and pop 
pills and get drunk so I could lose my brain cells so the 
homies won't know how smart I really am. I pretend I'm 
dumb because I want to hide my true identity, because 
I think they will think I'm a nerd. I'm going to keep 
intelligence on the down low, and keep playin' with the 
homies, and I'm going to use my book smarts combined 
with my street smarts. I'm smart in math — algebra, 
^ geometry, science, and language arts. 
Math=Counting money 
Algebra=the percentage of chances 
Science=making crack — pee cleaning, so I know how 
Language Arts=rm going to use my talking skills to 
persuade the police 

-Yung Spunks 

From The Beat: You may really be as smart as you say you are, but 
the examples you give for how you plan to use your intelligence don't 
sound very smart to us. All we can tell you is that California prisons are 
filled and overflowing with people who believed that they were smarter 

I than the system, and could use that to escape the consequences of their 

I actions. Not too smart at all! 

Two Cao't Be One 

I would think I'm two, 'cause I'm twice as big as my age. 
I would try to do something twice as bigger than someone 
else. I never tried to think I'm twice as smarter than 
someone. Me, I think dumb around people, just to show 
off, but now I regret everything. I wish I can get another 

-Tommy Gunn 

From The Beat: If you get that other chance, what will you do that% 
different from before you got here? Regretting things is only useful if it 
keeps you from doing them again. 

pYoor Worst Enemy 

I An example of me being my worst enemy is when I 
peer pressure myself into ding things I knew wasn't 
right. Examples: cutting school, smoking marijuana, 
committing crimes, etc. 


From The Beat: What do you mean by peer pressuring yourself? We can 
understand being peer pressured by others (not having the courage 
to say "No" to homies), but how do you peer pressure yourself? Any 
changes in your future? 


Sitting in my cell 

Late last night whipping 

These tears that falling 

From my eye hoping that 

Tonight goes by fast for 

I don't have to be thinking 

About the past cause 

It hurts to bad then 

I start to get bad knowing 

The fact that you were a mack 

And I still took you back 


From The Beat: You have a choice. Make good choices and you won't 
have to rethink them or regret them. I 



What's up Beat. It's this crazy white girl up in here 
chillin'. Wish I wasn't, but yeah, I don't really have a 
choice. Got court soon. Hope mom wants me home, but if 
not, I go home in March. No probation 'cause I'll be done 
with everything - all my max time - so it's good. 

But yeah, I miss everyone a lot, and I hope you guys 
doing hard time keep your heads held high and don't let 
anyone get you down. Don't lose hope and stay off that 


From The Beat: Next time you're tempted, try to remember how much 
you miss the ones you love, Asic yourself if you want to go through all 
this, and maybe worse, again. 

Late At Night 

Sitting in my cell late last night couldn't seem to sleep 
or even close my eyes thinking 'bout the outs and doin' 
my thing livin' life like a nusalun. The best you've seen 
living on the grind so you know I'm makin' mines. Love 
to make money because the life without it man it ain't 
funny. I thought you knew I'm a rebe. Try to get like me - 
you ain't on my level. 

Damn, I wish I was out. I ain't no baby so you know I 
won't pout. Gotta get my sleep but my eyes are fighting. 

Gotta stay awake my bodies decided, so I might as 
well use this time right because I know I'll be up all damn 


From The Beat: Insomnia is a tough one. By the way 



To Forgive? 

Well before I got locked up, it was me, my mom, a guy, 
and his girl. I met them through my man. Me and that 
girl got along and we kept it real with each other until I 
got locked up. I had my stuff at her mom's house until I 
could take it to my best friend's house. The night we got 
locked up she told me to keep my head up and that she 
loved me. Now she's out pretending she don't know me 
and saying that all my stuff is gone. That's hella messed 
up. I trusted her and thought she was a real home girl. 
Well I was wrong. You got to forgive and forget but it's 
hard when people do you hella shady like that. 

Honestly - 1 don't think I will forgive her, but she'll get 
something in return for what she did. 


From The Beat: Strange story L. We're sorry it worked out like this. But 
let it go. You have larger, more important things to think about. You 
have to rebuild your life. You can always get more things. 

Then, Now, And In The Future 

Sitting in my room late at night, all that goes through 
my mind is my man and what he is gonna be doing when 
he's out there without me. And now that he is out, should 
I get out and be with him, or just go to the program. 

I want to do good, but it's hard when your man's out 
and you ain't. And I just think about all the things I did 
wrong and what I can do better. I know you shouldn't 
dwell on the past but it's hard to forget. I just think about 
my life - now, then, and in the future. 


From The Beat: It^ good to think about things, but not to obsess on 
them. Be preparing a plan, a written plan that you can refer to when you 
get out. Cover things like - your goals, and specific steps for achieving 
them. List the probable temptations that will pop up from time to time. 
Make a list of how you'll meet those temptations. Make a full blown 
plan, and stick with it. Good luck Lauren. 

Give It All Up 

Before I got locked up the lifestyle I lived was crazy. 
It got me down at times, but it was the addictions and 
temptations that kept me going. 

Since I been locked up I kept telling myself I'm gonna 
stay doing good. But it's hard. 

Lately now I've been doubting myself. I've been talking 
to my therapist about what I want to do when I get to the 

I feel like I got a devil on one shoulder and an angel 
on the other. One is telling me to run. The other is telling 
me to keep it together and keep doing good. I'm getting 
frustrated because it sounds like I should take the easy 
way out. At the same time all I'm going back to is the 
same shhh. 

I want a better future and don't know how to get there. 
What to do - 1 don't know? I have a lot more to say about 
this topic but it will take too long. That's all for now. 


From The Beat: Keep writing about it. Writing, in a very real way, is like 
having a conversation with yourself. And you don't have to remember 
what you said, because you've written it all down. You already know 
what you need to do. It^ normal to be afraid, and confused, too. Keep 
writing. Keep talking with your therapist. You'll work it out. 

I Wouldi'l (iic It Up 


I don't think I would change my life. 

You know I live my life the way I do 

because that's the way I am. 

I would do better though. 

I've done things like drugs and stealing, 

but I live my life my way and I don't think I'm willing to 

stop gang banging. 

I just won't be dumb and do drugs and steal. 

Oh and I will also start going to school. 

It's not that I fear giving it up. 

It's that I don't want to because they are my family 

- because my family is all messed up. 

The only thing different I would gain is a different 


to cops. 

I wouldn't gain a better education in life, or nothing, 
because even though I gang bang, I still got all that stuff. 
So I would change, but not completely. 


From The Beat: Chelsea - you sound a bit confused. We get the feeling 
you know you need to change, but that you're afraid to take up the 
challenge. And we understand that it's difficult to change without the 
support of your family. But if you don't begin to change your ways, you 
won't get to see your family anyway. You'll be locked up. So be brave. 
Make the commitment you know you need to make. 

That's Really Not Me 

I'm nice but that's really not me. I hope that you never 
goin' to see people fight. They don't war like me. I'm the 
last of my kind. There's no more like me trying to make it 
on the street. It's like swimming through the sea, trying 
to make it to the other side of my young life. People say 
he tired of life and now realize he's addicted to the white. 
Got sucked up by the way - trying to make things right - 
right, he said. 

It's raining outside and the difference between us 
is a white bus with cages inside. When I come home - 
still face the cop cars with gauges inside. Yo on the real. 
It's yo rap is what kept me alive. He said - how could I 
change? I don't know stuff. War on the streets. People 
tripping over old stuff. Mess it. Make coke flip. I'm a drug 
dealer, but my father is a cold pimp. It look good but 
ain't cool, like cold shrimp, back in the bay. Allah who? 
Akbar didn't understand. He didn't force it on me, and my 
closest homie. I'm in a life of crime. Allah is always on my 
mind. All the filth, all the crime - 1 see straight through it. 
There's the hood. Let's scrape through it. Gotta be a real 
person just to make music. Where I'm from, selling stuff 
is cool, but rap is on my mind. It's hard to do them both 
and get my bread at the same time. 

-Young Paul 

From The Beat: Paul - we apologize for having to cut out some of your 
piece, but The Beat is no place for X-rated material. You are a talented 
fellow, and we hope you continue to write. You can't be selling and 
writing. Sooner or later - probably sooner, you'll end up back in here. 
You need to be in school. You have a good mind. Talk with your PO. Talk 
with a counselor. If you need help on the outs, they can find it for you. 
it's always hard to sort the facts from the fictions in pieces like this. 
We're not sure if you have a substance abuse problem, or if that's just 
one of your richly created characters. But if you need help, please ask 
for it. We look forward to more words from you. And by the way - who 
is 'the real' you? Who are you, really? That^ the 64 dollar question each 
of us asks. 

I Wish 

I wish I could go back to the night that I started the fires 
and not have started them. If I didn't start those fires I 
wouldn't be here, I would be at home with my mom and 
brother. I made a stupid decision that night and started 
fires then in the morning they caught me and my co-part 
and held us for like five hours, then they brought us here 
to the hall. 


From The Beat: Sometimes we do things that we know is wrong but 
we do it anyways because we aren't thinking it out thoroughly. These 
decisions are usually made in haste and the ending result sucks because 
you've either gotten in trouble or you've hurt someone. But when 
something like this happens then you pick yourself up and you learn 
from what you did and if you don't then you are bound to repeat what 
you've done. Have you learned from your past mistakes or do you think 
you're bound to repeat? I 

H) lei Teir's lesolucidi 

\ f 

To be better to my mom, she is the best and I'm so mean 
to her. She does everything for me and I treat her like 

My sisters too. I am so mean to them, I yell at them 
and all that. 

And I want to stay clean off that shhh, ya dig? That 
stuff messes you up and when I get out I am going to do 

I want more in life then being in the hall. 

Much love to all you out there I got to go, bye Beat. 


From The Beat: These are great resolutions! We hope that you can keep 
these resolutions, too many times have we forgotten about these New 
Year resolutions because we put them on the back burner for more 
immediate plans. 

Jail's Okay 

How I feel to be in jail? It is ok you just watch your 
back because kids might not like you because you look at 
them. Worse "watch" what you say to them because you 
can get jumped. 


From The Beat: Teens can be real cruel sometimes, why do you think 
that is? What do you think you can do to socialize without the other 
kids thinking that you are looking at them wrong or trying to fight? 

My Conversation With God 


Forgive me lord for I have sinned. 

I've stolen, lied, manipulated, and caused people pain, 
both physical and emotional pain. 
My life was full of ups and downs, highs and lows, 
I've done stuff I am not proud of and stuff I am proud of. 
People put time and effort to help me turn my life 

but I still chose to live the life style of a soldier. 
I deserve to be in Hell for my sins. 
But I am asking you to let me in, 
to be something that I've never been. 
But I'm a soldier and I'll do it all again. 

- Soldier 

From The Beat: Wow, Soldier, this was a powerful piece. We however do 
not think that you are going to Hell because everyone makes mistakes, 
whether we want to admit it or not. You are wrong about one thing, 
there are people who haven't given up on you. We believe that you 
can change your life around and we know that a lot of other people 
out there feel the same way you just have to want to change your life 


lot Bonn Let Voi Dodo 


Hey Beat, what's up with it? I just thought I would drop 
a few lines. Well Beat, I'm hella irritated because of four 
reasons. First, I'm going back to the ranch. 

Second, because of these females, I mean, I got my 
girls and all but one's leaving soon and my other girls just 
don't understand me. 

Third, because during morning shift we haven't had 
any regular staff and they don't know what the hell they're 
doing, and fourth, because I went on my OT and I didn't 
want to come back here but I still did, because I didn't 
want to let my loved ones down. 

Well, I'm out for now! Much respect. 


From The Beat: Sometimes we don't think that our friends will 
understand how we feel just because we might not trust them with 
such intimate details about our lives but it doesn't hurt to try and speak 
with them, Tatiana. We know that it^ hard to find a real confidante but 
remember that you'll always find one with us and you never know, the 
I other girls might understand you more than you think. 

My Own Worst Enemy 

Q-Onda, Beat? It's Kollmero, chillin' in the max. Well, 
the topic today is your own Worst enemy. I was at James 
Ranch For a few months and I only had some months left 
so that I could get released but that program was not for 
me because they wanted me to talk with my rivals and to 
stop gang banging. 

Now I got sentenced to Nevada ROP. for 18 months. 
I'm going to try and do that program 'cause I been locked 
up for a cool little minute and I'm getting tired. 

- Kollmero 

From The Beat: Sometimes it takes us a while to realize," This is not the 
life for me." But it's never too late to say that! You have to work hard 
if this is what you really want because if you don't then it'll be even 
harder to stay on track. We have faith in you, and we know that you 
can do it, if you want to. 

I Am Inferior 

I got court tomorrow; I hope I don't get too many years. 
The D.A. wants me to do 15, but 10 sounds more fair to 
me. I think if they could, they would put me away for life. I 
deserve my time though; I am nothing but a gang banging 
menace to society, que no. 

I am emotionless, a creature unable to comprehend 
the difference between right and wrong. I belong chained 
and handcuffed behind walls and steel doors. 

After all, I am inferior to you because of my choices in 
life, because at my age of 17, 1 am supposed to have it all 
figured out, so I deserve to be tried as an adult. 


From The Beat: You're wrong, you are not inferior to anyone. Not us and 
not to anyone. You are not emotionless because we can see your dignity 
and pain in this piece, we can see how hurt you are to feel as if you're 
inferior to the world. At your age, you are not supposed to have "it all 
figured out" and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. You don't have 
to gangbang and you don't have to be a menace to society, because 
everything depends on your choices. We know how much potential you 
have; you just have to know this yourself. Instead of feeling like a 
menace to the world, make yourself apart of this society. We know the 
value that you carry and you should know this also! Start today in 
improving your life! 

Ghetto Love. ..Why? 

I've been thinking about you a lot lately. 

Just us two planning to have a baby! 

With me in your arms. 

You by my side just holding me tight. 

Damn, let me tell you 

Everything felt just right... 

But do you care about the choice that was made? 

Or even think about your silly mistakes? 

I think of what life has to offer 

With you and me being together. 

Because you want one thing 

But then you go chase after the other!! 

I'm falling in love with you! 

But tell me why? 

Why is it so hard for you to just be faithful and stay 



From The Beat: This is a great poem, Tenesha, and we know that the 
women reading this will agree! We all go through these periods of love 
lost or mistaken love and to put it bluntly, it sucks! Do you have any 
words of advice to the other gals and guys out there who are dealing 
with their own relationship problems? 

Say Ni Ii Strikes 


Q-vole, Beat? This is the homie, Lil' Casper, just chillin' 
in the max unit. Well, today I'm not feeling this topic so 
I'm going to write about my court. 

I went to court today, I been here for a month and 
a half and I hate going to court because they just keep 
on giving you more and more court dates. I want to get 
sentenced already but I know that's going to take more 
than three months because I'm not going to take the 
strike that they want to give me. I don't care if I have to be 
stuck in here for years, I'm not going to take it. 

My PO recommends the Ranch, so hopefully I get sent 
to the Ranch without the strike. I know that in a year or 
two I'll be at the county jail ready to go to the pen and 
facing big time because that's just the life. 

-Lir Casper 

From The Beat: The strike deal aren't even logical! The Three Strikes 
Law is probably the most ridiculous law ever invented and we don't 
think that it will help anyone reform but what can we do? What do you 
think we can do to try and change that law? We're ecstatic that you are 
sticking to your instincts and not taking the strike! Sometimes going 
with your gut is necessary. 

Always Ronoing 

Hey Beat, what's up? Well, today I wasn't feeling the 
topic. I'm here in the max Unit and I've been sitting in my 
room a lot and I've been thinking about why I'm always 
running away from my problems. 

It's just that every time I'm about to do my program, I 
always feel tempted and end up running but I'm already 18 
and I will be out on Feb. 16th - hopefully. I won't continue 
to do wrong 'cause I won't be coming back here. So that 's 
all for now. To all doing time stay up and don't let nothing 
get you down. 


From The Beat: We understand the temptation to run when you're 
somewhere you didn't choose to be but you have to stick it out! If you 
keep running and running and if you keep getting caught each time then 
that will just make your incarceration last longer and longer. Getting 
this over with now mean that you wont have to deal with it later! 

The Role Model 

I have been here since the 19th of November and I still 
am here I hope I get out but they want to send me to the 
boy's ranch. I have a little baby sister that I love so much 
but I can't see her because I am in here, she cries for me 
every night. 

My mom says my sister is only three years ol,d but I 
am like her da,d because her dad always gets locked up. I 
remember when she was little I told her I would let nothing 
happen to her but I can't promise her that because I am 
in here. I also have a little brother who wants to be just 
like me but I don't want him to come in here but I can't 
tell him that because I am in here. But that's all I have to 


From The Beat: You're wrong, Carlos, because you can tell your brother 
and sister these things! Write to them, Carlos!! We know that they 
would appreciate a letter from you and your mother could help your 
younger bro' and sis' write you a letter back. We can see that you care a 
lot for your younger siblings and if you want to protect them and help 
them do good in life then you have to start with your own life. Your 
brother and sister will look up to you for answers and it% up to you to 
give them the right answers. 

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I r 

Stealing Froni Moni 

I'm talking today about stealing. I remember when I stole 
$20 from my mom to buy Pokemon cards and my mom 
figured out that it was me and I got my ass beat from my 
mom. I will never steal from my mom again. 


From The Beat: You will never steal from your mom again, right? What 

I about from everyone else? What would you have done differently if you 
had the choice to go back and do things differently? 

I 1 I 

Your Own Worst Eneoiy 

My worst enemy was when I stole some money from 
one of my close family members and I got beat down for 
the mistake I did. I would never like to experience that 
moment ever again but I would like to spend all that 
money on weed again, that was why I stole it because I 
wanted weed. When I was done smoking all the weed I felt 
sad and angry at myself because I know I could've done 
better but now I know that weed isn't that important. 

-They Mysterious White One 

From The Beat: There are times in our life that we will hurt the people 
we love because of something crazy like a bike or drugs or clothes. If 
you'd really like to make amends then tell that person what you did and 
pay that person back by your actions! We can see how badly you felt 
about stealing from your relative but let them know this and let them 
know that you've changed. Show them! 


Well let me start this off by showing my utmost Respect 
to The Beat and Beat readers. Well, the main thing that 
needs to change in my life would be DRUG USE. I just 
recently came back. 

I failed from my drug Rehab. I didn't relapse or turn 
in a dirty test I got kicked out for having a relationship. 
It was a co-ed facility. Crazy, huh? I know. I swear to God 
when you take Drugs away from those females, it was like 
they were in heat. Well, I'll Be out soon. 


From The Beat: How do you feel about getting Iciclced out for having a 
relationship, Chino? If you could turn back time would you have waited 
to begin a relationship? What would you have done differently if you 

Missin' My Boys 

Hey Beat, what up with it? I've been in here for about 
a month in a half and I'm tired of this place. I got two 
little boys back home that I haven't seen for almost four 

I had court last week and I have to go to the Ranch 
soon. I want to get my shhh straight because I love my 
two little boys and I want to be there for them. Well, talk 
to you soon. Beat, later! 


From The Beat :lt is so hard to be away from your children, and we know 
that there are many people who can understand how you're feeling. 
When a woman has a child her whole world completely changes, 
everything revolves around that child. We hope that everything goes 
well for you and all of the other mothers and fathers out there who are 
incarcerated. Do you have any words of advice for the other mothers 
and fathers locked up who are waiting to see their children? 

We Missed The Beat 

What's up. Beat? Well hey Beat, as you know it's your girl 
Esmeralda. Well, how are all of you doing? Well, hopefully 
you're doing good anyways as for me I'm doing cool well 
today is the 8th of January and I had court and I'm going 
back for trial in mid-February. 

Damn, hopefully I win 'cause I really want to go home. 
Well anyways Beat, we all missed you and we're glad 
you're back. Well anyways, I'm gonna go for now much 
love and respect to all that know me and doing time. 


From The Beat: We're doing great on this end, Esmeralda, thank you 
so much for asking! Thank you for showing your appreciation for us, it 
makes doing this all the more worthwhile. We're all wishing you good 
luck on your trial! 



Cisco Kid was a friend of mine, until he got shot and 
died. Why did he have to go out that night? He never hurt 
anyone, just a young homeboy, 17 years old that liked to 
still have fun. 

His mom cried and yelled at me and told me it was my 
fault when I told him that some people shot him with a 
gun. Damn, that was her baby, her youngest son. 

Cisco, I'll see you one day behind the moon, the stars, 
and the sun. Until that day comes, I pray for your family 
and you. 

-Young Bro 

From The Beat: Sometimes the choices we make determine the outcome 
of our lives. His mother was hurt and in pain and in her pain she decided 
to blame his death on you. Her pain did not give her the right to say 
such a thing but sometimes we say things that we don't mean when our 
emotions are running wild. Have you tried speaking with Cisco^ mother 
since his death? Maybe talking about it will help you overcome your loss 
and her loss. When someone close dies, you cannot bring them back but 
you can keep their memory alive. 

Why I Live 

I live for loyalty, honor, and respect. The only reason I 
am alive is because of my love and pride. I will always be 
my mother's pride and joy. 

-Sonny Boy 

From The Beat: What do you think defines love, honor and respect? How 
does your love and pride keep you alive each day? 

Stay Up 

Hey! Well Beat, I've been in here for a while now and 
guess what? I'm getting out in about one week, this is the 
last time me writing in The Beat. It is also my last time in 
juvenile hall, I'm going to do my best to stay out of here 
wish me luck. 

Well, I just want to say to the ones that are still in 
here stay up, I know sometimes the staff are hard headed 
but don't let that faze you, it ain't worth talking back and 
being on C or B level because time will go by slow so stay 
on A. All right then, well stay up, much love and respect. 


From The Beat: Doing your best legitly is all it really takes to stay out. 
You just have to do your best and try hard to keep your goals in mind 
I and stay on track. 


I ain't really feelin' the topics today so I'ma just free- 

Well, I been here for 5 months, got 5 more to go. I 
got sentenced last month to 180 days. Life skills. I been 
waitin' in this Max Unit to get transferred to another unit 
for a month already. Kind of excited to go so I can be in 
another environment, I heard it was cool there anyways. 
I'm gonna try and get a job over there when I get my 

That's what I'm lookin' forward to most. Just takin' it 
day by day. ..and until then, I'll be chillin'. 


From The Beat: We're so happy to see your optimism, Dave! Keeping a 
positive outlook and an optimistic approach is the first step to pulling 
yourself out of the system. 

I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 

When I Grow Up 

Well, when I grow up, I want to move back to New York 
with my grandma after high school, to go to school to be a 
cosmetologist, own my own Salon, make my own money 
and help my grandma not have to depend on no one but 
myself. That's what I want in the future. 


From The Beat: You have great goals for yourself. A! What are you going 
to do to make sure that your plan works out? 


Quitting Drugs 

Well Beat, these topics are not to my liking, so I'm gonna 
talk about getting out. I'll be getting out in a few days 
or less. When I get out, I'm gonna quit my old habits. 
I'm gonna quit doing drugs, especially the PCP. My drug 
addiction is what got me in here, so to stay out I have to 
give it up and I will. 


From The Beat: Congratulations on kicking the habit, Flaco! That is so 
strong of you to do! Kicking a habit, especially a drug habit, is no easy 
feat and we're rooting for you all the way. You should keep us updated 
on what you're doing to stay clean because we know that other teens 
(and adults) could use some advice. PCP is a very strong and dangerous 
drug. Be aware of the things you are missing with. 

Make A Change 

Your Worst Enemy 

What's up Beat? This yo' girl. A way he (Obama) can help 
out the community is by giving others some better jobs 
and better rights. I say this because both of these issues 
are what I want to be done. 

One way I know will help the community is by making 
marijuana legal. By doing this it will help the community 
from ending up locked up, also, by legalizing marijuana 
it will give others jobs and better jobs to research and it 
will help the government too in a way that it helps the 
economy. Some citizens don't have chances like others 
in getting a job so they sell in order to have money. 

I'm just saying don't let a chance pass by that can be 
good for both community and government. Keep putting 
over $30,000 dollars in prisons and less than $10,000 
dollars in schools or make a good change. 

Well, this is my point of view. With you, Obama, being 
elected you made a change in history now you can to for 
society. OBAMA!!!! The change is in you. 


From The Beat: We understand where you are going with your ideas, 
Adriana, but would you elaborate for us? If marijuana should be 
legal to sell then what age limit do you think is appropriate for the 
distribution of it? If you added more details to your ideas then you 
could possibly try and get them passed as laws! Wouldn't that be an 
awesome accomplishment? 

Cry When YoD Have Time! 

A time I was my own worse enemy was most of the time. 
I become my own enemy when I'm angry and frustrated 
and there is nothing I can do about it. I try to calm myself, 
but most of the time I can't control my anger. 

have sabotaged a lot of my life when it was going 
good for me and this is why I am in jail and not on the 
outs free. 

A time I sabotaged my life was when I'd go out and 
do things I'm not supposed to be doing. I do what I do 
because it is me. I try not to go out and do things, but I 
can't stop my needs. I just take the risks because life is a 
risk and I'm going to take it because I only have one life 
and I am going to make my life the best of it as I can. 

People sabotage things when things are good because 
they can't control what goes on in their life or the way 
things happen or sometimes they just don't care and say 
forget everything and do what their needs are. 

Well, I guess this is all I'm going to write for now until 
next time. Yah boy is out... 


From The Beat: When we're mad or frustrated we aren't really thinking 
right because our emotions get so whaclcy that our thoughts aren't 
really clear, but when you know that^ happening you have to stop and 
breathe. When you're mad, you have to try to calm yourself down so 
that you can handle the situation the way it should be handled, without 
violence. What do you think that you could do to calm yourself down 
when your feel your emotions rising? Life is a risk, but that doesn't 
mean that doesn't give you the right to PUSH IT. 

Well, the thing that gets me irritated is when girls start i ^^ — 

crying when they only gonna be here for a day or two. I llin l|p|| In Upnp 

Come on now, what kinda shhh is that? Shhh, you did Ml D ilCM III ilCI C 

what you did to get in here then you gonna start to cry? 
Damn that's hella weak, you only gonna be here for a 
couple of days. Start to cry when you actually get time! 

From The Beat: We understand why you would be irritated, M, but 
sometimes it^ hard for some people to control their emotions. When 
you're in a situation that you can't control then it's frustrating and 
sometimes our only release is to cry. Emotions aren't a bad thing and we 
should be made to feel ashamed of them because it's natural, it comes 
with being human. Instead of becoming irritated with these girls, what 
could you say to make them feel better? It% not fair to deny others of 
their emotions/feelings! 


Everyone talks about change. Most people talk about it 
and don't be about it. I'm one of those people who be 
about it.' 

When I get out, I'm gonna better myself and my family 
and my community so it could be safe for my people to 
walk around and not try, yadada I mean? 


From The Beat: We are so thrilled to see your determination in changing 
your ways! You're going to need strong determination and a very strong 
will to go through with this because your friends might try to tease you 
for changing but you have to stick with your goals! 

Hey what's up. Beat Within? This is for all you kids still 
locked up, and it's hella gay in here, you have to do what 
they want you to do. You have to eat when they want and 
you have to wear other peoples' clothes and that sucks. 

So whenever you get out, stay out, so you don't have 
to come in here. All you do is hella miss your family. 
So when you get out, don't do nothing dumb, just go to 
school and do good and get a good job because no girls 
wants a guy that has no money. Just do good and don't 
come back because it hella sucks, ok, late. 


From The Beat: We know it sucks having to follow someone else% 
regiment, but if you stick it out and keep your mind busy then you'll 
be out sooner than you think. What do you think you can do to occupy 
your time? Maybe try to draw or read? So, what are your plans once 
being free? 

Thinking Bacit 

The Love i Had For Yon 

The love I had for you was so beautiful. 
The love I had for you was so kind. 
The love I had for you was so sweet. 
The love I had for you was so cute. 
The love I had for you was so real. 
The love I had for you was yours. 
But you let all that go. 
So I have to look at you and say so. 


From The Beat: Simple and beautiful, we'd love to hear more from you, 

There was a time when I was locked up. When I was 
locked up, I was planning on doing good, and I had 
everything planned out. I was doing good, getting better 
grades, calmed down on the drinkin', and calmed down 
on my anger. 

That means I didn't get mad 'cause my mom told me to 
come home at a certain time or 'cause someone stepped 
on my shoes. 

Someone got me mad one day, I just lost it and 
went out of it and next thing you know I'm locked up. 
I'm kicking it with some homies I knew from the back 
then, and I'm drinking with them again. I'm back on the 
wrong path again. I'm hella mad, but I could only be mad 
at myself. But again I just wish that it had never happen. 


From The Beat: You know, sometimes our plans don't go as well as we 
thought they would, but you've got to pick yourself up from things like 
that! It^ not the end of the world when things don't go the way you 
planned. What do you think you can do to try to get back on the right 
path when you feel your plans start to sway? 

Mi Familia 

Que-Vole, Beat? Well today I'm going to drop a couple 
of lines about how much I'm missing mi familia. Damn, I 
wish you would know how hard it is to be away from the 
people that you love more then your own life. 

Well, let me tell you it's one of the hardest things that 
I have ever had to do in my life. I feel like a part of me is 
missing, I can't stand the fact that I am missing out on 
special moments in their lives. I want them to know that 
I am missing them like crazy and that I love them more 
than life itself. I want to let them also know I'm sorry 
for doing the things that I've done to put myself in this 

I'm going to try better next time. I promise to them 
I'm not going to do anything to get myself in here again 
because I don't want to lose any more time with them. 

Well Beat, I said what I had to say, got to go now. Stay 
up to everyone doing time. Keep your heads up high 'til 
the end of time; you'll be out soon! 


From The Beat: We understand how you're feeling, Huera, even if some 
of us haven't been through the same situations as you. We icnow that 
some of you guys thinic it isn't cool to cry for your family but they're 
normal emotions and we shouldn't ridicule our peers for having them. 
What would you say to someone, girl or boy, who^ in the same situation 
as you and misses their family? 

Blame Yourself 

Johnny is the name and life is what me and you are 
going through. You're not in here because of her or his 
fault or even, " I was under the influence." 

You're locked up and no one to blame but yourself, 
you should be ashamed... I am, I have done wrong, yet I'm 
still standing strong. 

I think I'm hard saying this with a pencil in my right 

and on my left my heart. So be ashamed and F be the last 

name, I say this proud so this is my last day. 

From The Beat: At least you've learned something important- 
acceptance. You're right, we make decisions, we act and we get pay the 
consequences of our actions. You're a great example. The next question 
is, what will Johnny F do now? Can he get himself out of this hole he 
got himself into? 


The Bii I 

What's good ,Beat? Me nothin', just takin' it day by day. 

Well, today I want to talk about the Big L, yeah twenty- 
five to life. See, everyone don't want to get to that point, 
but when you don't think you can get to that point but it 
can happen to you. It just happens. I get irritated when 
kids complain about getting six months or a year. Now 
when you get twenty-five what you gonna do? 

I never thought that some shhh like this would happen 
to me. Now I'm sittin' here just waitin' to see what's gon' 
happen to me. I'm a seventeen year old diva rippin' to the 
day I die, lookin' at the rest of my life in prison. 

So all I can say to you youngstas is be cool 'cause you 
don't know what's goin' to happen to you. In five months 
on my court day I will be headed to Elmwood, damn time 
went by and all ya'U complainin' about little time. You 
should be thankful and don't take it for granted 'cause 
that one time can be the last. I 

Well, stay up we goin' to make it. | 


From The Beat: We can understand why you would be irritated by the 
other girls crying about their time when you're facing bigger challenges 
but you have to realize they might not have the same strength as you. 
How do you feel about facing such a big challenge in your life. Faith? 
We Icnow that The Beat readers appreciate your great advice and we 
want to thank you for sharing this piece of wisdom. 

Shhli Happens 

This is Carlos. So I'm gonna talk about my life when I 
was doing a lot of things like jackin' cars, smoking meth 
every freakin' day. Now I know that I was doing the wrong 
things, but whatever, things happen. 


From The Beat: You're right, Carlos, things do happen but we can learn 
from these uncontrollable occurrences that happen in our life. It^ up to 
you to mold your life into what you want it to be! 

Don't Do Drags 

What's up. The Beat? With regrets I wish that I never 
do drugs again in my life 'cause drug mess people up in 
different ways. So men and girls, don't do drugs. 


From The Beat: Thanks for your advice. You stay away from them as 

New And iDiproved 

Well, I noticed myself change a lot. I never cared what I 
did or what I did to others but since I've been here for a 
while now I've had a chance to really catch up with myself 
and where I really want to go in life. I find myself not just 
acting anymore, I actually think about," Okay, if I do this 
I'ma catch more time," and that's all I need is to get more 

When I get out I already know what I'm going to do. 
I have a chance to change so I'm going to take that for 
granted and move up in life. I'm going to go to school, 
get a job, and get my dream car then maybe get a man 
because I know I'ma do what I have to do first. 

Now that I'm almost 18, I noticed that I messed up a 
lot of years that I could have been doing things that were 
going to make me come up in life. But I'm still young and 
I'm ready to show everyone who thought I was just going 
to be another homegirl locked up her whole life that I'm 
gonna make it in life. 


From The Beat: We are rooting for you, Miranda. We can feel your 
determination and your passion to change and we know that you can 
do it! What would you say to all the doubters who think the kids in the 
hall wont and cannot change? We'd tell you what we would say but it 
isn't nice! 


Well, we can use some money for people who don't have 
health care but are immigrants also use some money for 
schools and jobs. We can give people back their jobs or 
make new companies for others who need jobs to support 
families especially immigrants. 


From The Beat: These are great thoughts, Erika, we'd love to hear 

What's The Difference? 

Why is it when people fight in wars and all the killings 
be going on it's okay, but when we fight for what we think 
is right and all the killings go on in the streets all of a 
sudden it turns into a bad thing and people start getting 
locked up. 


From The Beat: You're right on one thing — killings people in war is 
wrong. It^ never been right in our eyes and in the eyes of millions of 
people. But, when you compare it to "your killings over what you think 
is right," it makes it even worse. Violence 

Love Is 

My Beautiful Mama 

Love is pain 

And pain is love. 

You're my stars up above, 

Your love is so sweet and tender 

But at the same time it can be painful. 

I try to hold you so tight 

But all you do is push me to the side. 

You tell me you love me 

But all you do is cheat on me. 

How can that be? 


From The Beat: We know that love can be both a physically and 
emotionally painful experience but the great thing about love is that it 
never runs out! Sometimes we stay with people who hurt us because we 
love them too much to leave but there has to be a time when you stand 
up and say," No more!" It might seem self-centered but you can't forget 
about your feelings and your needs, Martinez. If you do that then you 
lose who you are and that person will never think to change because 
they know that they can get away with hurting you. 

Missing You 

\ I 

The person I miss the most is my niece Sabrina. Damn, 
she is three years old and she always asks my sister 
where I'm at and when I call she's the first person I always 
want to talk to but when she asks me where I'm at and 
when am I coming home it hurts. 

I could feel my heart break and my eyes water because 
I hear her lil soft voice and before I hang up she tells me 
"I'm praying for you" and to "come home safe". But when 
I go home the first thing I'm gonna do is take her to the 
store and she is going to pick out anything she wants and 
I'ma take her to the park and watch her play. 


From The Beat: It^ hard when you have a younger family member who 
doesn't really understand why you are gone or why you can't call all the 
time. We know how hard it must be on you too, Miranda, and we can 
feel your pain through reading this piece. Why don't you write to her 
and let her know that although you aren't there with her doesn't mean 
that you don't love her any less? Does your niece know where you are? 
Maybe when she gets older you can tell her what you've been through 
because we know that she will gain a wealth of knowledge from you. 

This is Isabella coming from Sunnyvale. Well, I'm not 
feeling these topics so I'ma write about my mom. 

Well, I would have to say that my mother is my world. 
She has put up with so much BS from me. Even though 
my dad left us when I was 5 years old, she managed to 
play both mother and the father role. I remember when 
we moved into our first apartment we had no electricity. 

She is the most beautiful woman in the world. Even 
though me and her have our ups and downs, I will always 
love her. My mother is very independent and she doesn't 
need to rely on a man to support her. She has given up 
so much for me. When she had me as a young teenager, 
she managed to work two jobs and go to school. I want to 
repay her back for all she's done for me, but being here 
doesn't help. 

I've been here since early December and don't know 
when I'm getting released. Hopefully soon! Because 
all these years I've been messing up in school and not 
listening to her but as soon as I get released I want to 
prove to her I can change and make something of myself. 
Well, that's all I got to say for now. Much love. 


From The Beat: The statistics tell us that kids from the inner cities are 
most likely to grow up in single parent households because of drugs or 
a parent is incarcerated or etc. and we think that^ a crock of shhh. It 
might be true in some cases but not all of us grow up in single parent 
homes because of these things. Sometimes our mother/father is trying 
to protect us from emotional or physical harm but does that mean our 
families are lesser compared to two parent, suburbanite families? No 
it doesn't and we are so glad that you wrote this piece to show the 
statistics and everyone else out there that our single mothers/fathers 
are amazing. 

My Mom 

Well there has never been a time where I been my own 
enemy but there been a time when I hated myself. I hated 
myself when the first time I came in here and like the 
times that I am here because my mom is stressing, like 
everyday I'm here, and she cries a lot so I feel bad of what 
I choose to do. But being here makes me really realize 
that my mom really cares about me. 


From The Beat: We understand how badly you must feel to know that 
your mother is stressing over you but you shouldn't hate yourself because 
of it. Hating yourself will not get you were you need to be, instead 
think positively. Use your mother as motivation to better yourself. 

My Dad 

What's good with it. Beat? Well, I'm back again, the 9th 
time and the last. I'm gonna turn 18 in a few months and 
I'm tryin' to do 6-8 months and terminate my probation. 

Well, I got some bad news the other day, I found out 
my dad has cancer. He's only got a few months to a year 
to live. He smokes a lot of dope so I'm sure that will speed 
up the process. I'm sad, I ain't never lost no one in my 
family before. I hope he holds on 'til I get out! 

Other than that I'm doin' cool, I guess. Yeah, but I'm 
hungry I need to eat somethin' fast! Well, that's all I got 
time fo'. 

Obama! The change is in you. 

-Power & Money 

From The Beat: Wow, Power, we know that you must be going through 
a very tough time. How do you feel about being away from your family 
at such a hard time in your lives? Doctors know a lot more about cancer 
and cancer treatments then they did in the past, so your father may 
have a much longer stay than they said. Have you spoken to your dad 
about quitting his habit? Speaking to him about this might make him 
realize that his life is not worth the risk. Our thoughts and prayers are 
with you and your family. Power, and we are so grateful that you shared 
this with The Beat readers and us. 

Your Own Worst Enemy 

I Sabotaged Myself 

I seem to find myself in the same situations over and 
over again. It seems like no matter how hard I work or how 
hard I try I keep failing. I had to look deep down inside 
and realize the reason I kept failing and letting my family 
down was because I was scared. Scared of succeeding, 
scared of succeeding and then failing again. 

I realized that I always sabotaged myself. It seems 
right when things start changing in my life for the better. 
This overwhelming fear hits my heart. What if I can't do or 
meet these expectations? What if I'm not the best mother 
in the world? What if I fail, what would my mother think 
and could I handle it? This is a lot to think about, a lot to 
face, especially being young. 

Right when I think it's finally over, I'm gonna just stay 
home and be a mother, I go off and leave her again and 
always end up in jail. One day soon I will be that mother 
that my daughter needs. 
One day... 

-Stormee Haney 

From The Beat: There will always be "what its" in your life, it's how 
you handle it that matters. Being scared of the unknown is normal and 
we all go through these type of "what if I fail" "what if I'm not a good 
parent" type of questions. How do you think our mothers were when 
they first had children? It^ a scary experience for every new parent. We 
aren't programmed to know exactly what to do but you can always find 
someone more experienced who knows what to do. Knowledge can be 
passed down, you just have to have the courage to find it. We know 
that you can be an awesome mother, you just have to try! 

What To Do 

I think what needs to change about myself is like I 
need to get my things together 'cause I shouldn't even 
be here. Well yeah, I should 'cause I committed a crime 
but I should be doing something else because I'm way too 
young to be doing all this! 


From The Beat: What do you think that the system should change 
about the juvenile halls? If teens commit crimes then what should the ■ 
government do, other than lock them up and walk away? I 

Everyone's Talking Change, Are You? 

What needs to change from me is a lot. My attitude, I 
should have a better attitude with people and myself. 
Also, I need to stop hanging out with the wrong people 
and getting into trouble a lot and not listening to my 
parents because I don't want to listen to what they have 
to say, I should start listening to my parents because now 
I know they're right about everything they tell me. 

Another thing that needs to change is I shouldn't 
care about what people think of me. What I really need 
to change in my life is to get out of here and going home 
where I belong and doing good and change my schools, 
going to school in Sunnyvale and doing what I am 
supposed to do so I could graduate on time with the right 
credits and finding new and better friends. 

Also not take things for granted all the time. Being 
there for my family instead of going out all the time or 
running away because it doesn't help my problems, that's 
why I got in here and for something else. Now I know 
what I need to do to change. 


From The Beat: You seem to know what you need and where you want to 
change and that^ more than what some adults know about themselves! 
Now, you know where and what you want to change but how do you go 
about making these changes a reality? How do you go about changing 
schools, friends, and your environment? There are many resources out 
there to use to your advantage but you have to know where to look and 
who to call. We're always here to help whenever you need and we look 
forward to seeing you succeed in life! 

Well for me, I need to change the way I act when I'm mad. 
I don't throw things or hit anybody, I just explode and 
run to my room to watch a movie. I mean, I know how to 
control it, it's just one time I fiipped into a goblin. I wish 
I hadn't done what I did that got me in here, I feel so bad 
but hey it's not the end of the world. I just got to change 
my anger because I am all the time happy and that's the 
way I need to be all the time. 

Yes, I sabotaged myself the day I got in here. My 
brother finally went to a church with my mother but I 
didn't go 'cause I felt depressed. But I always play with 
my daughter and always cooking and being happy but for 
some reason I didn't go to church with them and the whole 
problem that started could have been avoided. That's why 
I need counseling and anger management but I definitely 
need to go home with my little girl 'cause she needs me 
and I need her. Also my mom needs me and I need her as 
well plus I feel isolated in here like if I'm drowning and 
the only person that can help me is my mom and family 

Hopefully, my PO and judge lets me go home early just 
on CRP and classes. I think people sabotage things right 
when it gets better because they're scared of greatness 
and success. 


From The Beat: We all have our emotional problems, whether it^ anger 
problems or depression issues. Thankfully we live in a more modern 
world, go back 20 years and it would have been taboo to speak openly 
about your stress problems. Never feel like you have to be ashamed 
about your feelings because they're natural and seeking help for them 
doesn't make your any lesser but only a stronger and better woman! 

/J^st want wif fam/'/tf to he hacK 
together hecanse mif hrother 
and mtf sister are locked Mp and 
MOW we. 

'17eryone's Talking Change, Are You? 

What I want to change, for me, is to get along with other 
people and don't hang around with the people that I'm 
hanging out with because they get me in trouble and I 
don't want to get locked up anymore. I want to go back 
to school because I stopped going to school and I want 
to go back. 

Also, I just want my family to be back together 
because my brother and my sister are locked up and now 
me. I just want all of us to be together. I got a couple of 
other stuff I want to say, is to do everything right so I can 
go to college and study for a doctor and finish college and 
start working. 

I can get money, buy me a house and a car and all the 
stuff I want and that's how I will be happy like that. I also 
don't want to smoke anymore I don't want to do drugs, I 
don't want to kick it anymore. The end!! 


From The Beat: It's never easy when families are split apart and it is 
probably the biggest fear for our mothers and fathers. What do you 
think you can do to bring your family together again? You also have to 
focus on yourself, Yesenia. You have very big plans for your life and we 
know that you can do it. What about helping your brother and sister 
with their plans that they'd like to do in their life? You can use this 
opportunity to bring your siblings and yourself closer together. We 
know that you can do it, Yesenia! 

.„8hopllftlHg leads to the companif 
tumlng low oh moneif meaning thetf 
have to fire some emploifees, leading 
to people helngpoor. 

Life is Hard 

\ I 

When I was a little girl 

My mom use to tell me I make her hurl, 

My step dad told me I was his little pearl. 

I didn't know what was true 

So I didn't know what to do, 

So I ran away from them. 

I went to my room, 

I heard a loud boom, 

I thought I had come to my doom. 

So I ran out 

Then I gave a loud shout. 

Then they ran to me and beat me. 

My life was hard. 

It was like it depended on a card 

But I still live and thank goodness to that. 


From The Beat: Yes, thank goodness to being alive. Many of us taice for 
granted the lives we have when many people in third world countries 
are suffering from living in a war zone. You are not alone. Stacks, and 
whenever you need a helpful ear then we're always here to listen. 
Sometimes it's better to just talk without having someone give you wr\ 
endless list of suggestions! 

Everyone's Taliiing Cliange 

I believe people should be taught that shoplifting is worse 
than it appears to be. First of all, shoplifting leads to the 
company running low on money meaning they have to 
fire some employees, leading to people being poor. Which 
is actually the main reason people shoplift in the first 
place. If people learned this they might think twice before 
shoplifting something because in this world everything 
has an effect and what goes around comes around. 


From The Beat: Shoplifting is serious, it goes way beyond what anyone 
really thinks and we are so grateful to you for bringing this up with 
The Beat readers! Stores close down because of excessive five-finger 
discount shoppers and it causes the communities, families, and store 
owners a lot of money. What do you think we can do to stop kids (and 
adults) from boosting, stealing, etc? 

One Day... 

When I grow up, it was so hard for me 'cause I was the 
oldest one and everyone wanted to beat me up. So when 
I grew up, I went back to those people and messed them 
up, it was fun for me. 

No one understands me only drugs and my homies 
and that's the way it is so forget it; it was my everyday 
thing. It was fun until I got caught up with a gun. Forget 
it, I didn't learn my lesson, maybe one day I will. 


From The Beat: We won't lie, Juan, revenge can be sweet...but you don't 
have to resort to your fists to get back those people that terrorized you 
when you were younger. Just like you're making mistakes, they made 
mistakes in their past. That's the past and you should let it go. Your 
mentality is what worries us. If you keep thinking like this, you won't 
get a chance to even learn your lesson. You already been shot, what else 
are expecting to happen to get the point? 

Ynnr Iflom Is Yonr One True Friend 

During some of my experiences I have noticed that there 
aren't many real friends out there. Everyone is just acting 
and sometimes my mother told me this too, she told me 
that she's a true, real, dependent friend. She's been there 
for me during harsh times and did what she could to help 


From The Beat: Sometimes we think that our family is against us because 
they wont let us do the things we want but in reality they just want 
us to do good and stay out of trouble. They really are our true friends, 
whether we believe it or not. Have you told your mother how you feel? 
We know that she would appreciate it and it will probably make her feel 
better about your absence. 

OUama and Tlie Econnmy 

This economy is all screwed up... what we fail to realize is 
that America is broke and people are in denial of that... if 
you don't know we are in a bad ass recession right now... 
people getting laid off like dogs taking a piss...Obama is 
president and we are all hoping for a change. ..but do you 
really think that is going to happen? 

Not to put nobody down, I give it up to that ninja 
OBAMA...but to tell you the truth Obama is just a puppet. 
The government is just making us think that he is going 
to make a change... but he's not, they going to make 
Obama mess up this world. ..soon you will see. ..but stay 
tuned for next time for more... 


From The Beat: Sometimes people will see things that they don't like 
so they tune the problem out because it's ugly and they don't want to 
deal with it...kinda like the recession. Faith. But if we all take such a 
pessimistic view on these issues then the country would get stuck into a 
rut. President Obama cannot make all these changes himself, the nation 
has to band together and help out in wrxy way they can. What do you 
think the youth community could do to help with solving the problems 
the U.S. faces now and in the future? 

Orugs Messed Ifle Op 

The time when I was my own enemy was when I had 

opportunity to keep working in my job, but then I started 

doing drugs again and stopped going to work. Then they 

fired me and now I regret not going to back work. But it 

was all because of drugs that messed up my chance to 

keep working and getting paid, but now I learned from 

that mistake, to just stay away from those drugs. 

From The Beat: You're still so young, Al! There are other careers out 
there for you and there are other important things to focus on like what 
college to go to and how to apply for a grant for college! You're life is 
not over because of the stuff that you've done iks a teen. You have your 
whole life to worry about money so right now we suggest you focus on 
how to be a better person and finish school. 


The Wal Mart Crowd 


I think we should have one minute of silence for that 
Wal Mart worker that died by a crowd of zombies. I think 
that a laptop, or a flat screen TV, or an I Pod is not worth 
killing an innocent guy who just went to work on a regular 
day. And I think they should have some security at Wal 
Mart so they can keep the crowds under control. 

Anyway, I think they should make the people in the 
crowd pay for the funeral and all the expenses. There was 
no good reason for getting crazy and impatient just for 
some great deals. Now they are going to remember that 
day for the rest of their lives. 


From The Beat: It is sharp of you to recognize that Wal Mart bears some 
responsibility for this tragedy. Had better security been in place, the 
tragedy might not have occurred. It will be, as you point out, a terrible 
memory that the people in that crowd must bear, for the rest of their 
lives. Good writing, L. 

How I Feel 

Someone knows how I feel. 

Everybody in my business 

trying to solve my deal. 

But it's time to hit the spot, 

shake it 'til it's hot. 

Singing: Dear Beat Within, 

don't do me wrong, 'cause 

it's like Bob Marley said - 

Ima be writing 'til my brains are gone - 

to The Beat Ima be writing 'til my thoughts 

are done. 

From The Beat: OK, lay it on us. 


The Shopping Tragedy 

Well, before I start, let me give my condolences to the 
family members of that Wal Mart worker who died. 

First of all, a bargain is not worth someone's life, and 
it's crazy that people in New York broke down the doors, 
and what is more crazy is that no one stopped to help the 
guy. I also think that Wal Mart should pay for the funeral, 
or help pay something. This says that our country is 
more materialistic than ever. It's embarrassing that this 
happened in our country. For the people who got caught 
on the surveillance tape, I think that they should also 
have to pay for the funeral. 

Well anyway - thanks to Dennis The Menace for 
coming. He is a trip. 'Til next time. 

From The Beat: Thanks for your thoughtful response. This is a real life 
horror story. May we all remember it the next time we're in a crowd. 

Messed Up 

It's pretty messed up how somebody, or a whole crowd, 
can just trample an innocent employee at Wal Mart, just 
for some "on sale" items. What I feel sorry for is the 
victim's family. I think the least the people who were 
responsible for the death should do is pay for the funeral 
and give money to the family of the victim. 

I also think the person who ripped off the doors 
should pay the most, because if it wasn't for that, the 
tragedy might not have happened. But who am I to judge. 


From The Beat: It sure was messed up. No amount of money can pay 
for the loss of the worker^ life, and the fact that so many people are to 
blame adds to our sadness and frustration over this event. 

From The Beat: In Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall, The Beat held a special 
writing workshop the day after Thanksgiving. The topic took on the 
news of that Black Friday, which is what the day after Thanksgiving 
is known in the shopping world. It's the busiest shopping day of the 
year. Many stores offer big bargains in hopes of attracting shoppers. 
Sometimes, large crowds of consumers gather outside their favorite 
stores before the stores open. The people in the crowd want first dibs 
on the good deals. This Friday morning, at a Wal Mart store in New 
York, the crowd didn't wait for the store to open. It broke down the 
doors and rushed inside. In the process, the crowd trampled a Wal Mart 
worker to death. Apparently, no one stopped to help the worker.We'd 

writing. A few things to consider might be: How much is a good bargain 
really worth? Surveillance cameras may have caught this event on film. 
If so, what should happen to the people in the crowd, the people who 
trampled a man to death on their way to buy a cheap flat screen TV, or 
to get a good deal on a lap-top computer? What does this event say 

of course writers are free to 

write whatever is on their minds. 

Don't Go There 

Don't go there. 
Don't ever go there. 
Do not ever joke about my kid. 
Don't ever talk about him. 
He means the world to me. 
He is my life. 

I will protect him with my life. 
I would do anything for him. 
He is all I have. 

No one has ever talked about him in a disrespectful way, 
so I do not know what to say. 
I will take care of him. 


From The Beat: Taking care of your son means taking care of yourself. 
You can't do it from behind walls and bars. Make a plan for staying out 
and for becoming the dad you want to be. You are highly motivated. But 
you need a plan. You need to get a degree. You need a job. There^ work 
to be done. Being a good dad is hard work, but it^ very, very important 
work. So get to it. Good luck. 


Today I'm just gonna write about my day. It was cool. We 
had some weird programs 

that I hated, though. Dinner was bomb. We ate pizza, 
and during lockdown I screamed out "ef your life" to the kid 
next to me. I was just messing with him because he kept 
saying "ef your life", too. Oh, and poetry with Dennis was 
cool again. 

Man, Dennis is hella funny. Sorry for the language, but 
it's how I express myself. But anyway, Jill is cool too. They 
really laid back and chill. 

Well, after they leave I'm gonna read The Beat and see 
what's in it. I know we ain't supposed to give shoutouts but I 
wanna give a shout out to Dennis The Menace and Jill. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you had a full day - some good moments, 
some not-so-good, some laughs, some time to read and write. We're glad 
you're enjoying the Beat workshops and we appreciate your writing. 
What was the most interesting thing you read in The Beat this week? 

\ ■ The Wal Mart Worker's Death 

A bargain ain't worth people dying. 

It ain't worth families crying. 

People trying to be the first to get a better deal 

A death is what they bought 

and now probably the court 

is what they got to deal with. 

A charge is probably what they will get, 

and that's for real. 

I don't think a life is worth that stuff 

'cause in the conscience a guilt will live. 

From The Beat: Good poem about a difficult subject. 


Since The Cradle 

Since the cradle 

I've cast a shadow of evil in my town, 

with a blood stain on my shirt. 

I made a promise to myself 

that I wouldn't ditch the cause. 

But I became a ghost when I got locked up. 

I don't regret anything I did 

except for how I made my family feel. 

Here, the rooms are dusty, 

the nights are cold, 

the phone sucks. 

I can't wait 'til I get home. 


From The Beat: Your poem is very challenging for us to comment on. 
First we'd like to say - good writing. But then we must add that it 
troubles us, too. You say you don't regret anything. (Or rather - the 
voice of the speaker in the poems says it.) We know that we don't have 
a right to assume that the voice in the poem is you, because a poet has 
as much right as a fiction writer to make up characters. But whoever 
the character is, it is disturbing that the character doesn't seem to 
have learned anything from the experience of being incarcerated. In 
fact, this character says he will never 'ditch the cause'. But the cause 
seems to have ditched him. We call it a misplaced loyalty to honor the 
gang above one^ family. We hope that this character learns what^ truly 
valuable, before it^ too late. Maybe we'll hear something from this 
character again. 

Gun Violence 


A gun could save lives and a gun could take lives. Either 
way, a gun can make someone die. Kill someone and you 
could be sent away for life. So guns ain't no lie. It's the 
real deal. 

On the streets, it's serious stuff. If you pack heat, pull 
it out and someone will shoot back, and six feet deep is 
where someone will be. So I suggest that you don't pack, 
'cause when you do, you hurt you and your family. 


From The Beat: We hear you Jaime, and we agree with you. What do you 
think it would take to get everybody to turn in their guns? And instead 
of saying "that will never happen", imagine that it could happen. Then 
tell us how we might possibly reach that point. 

Still Hella Time To Do. But 

I still have hella time to do but I will be out there, waxing 
again, taking care of biz. To my homies in the calles and 
the pintas, much love. And a shout out to the lifers. 

Sad, boy, just so sad - sorrowful, painful, mournful. I 
still hold my head up high, with a positive mentality. The 
fields surround us on the central coast, turning bodies 
into ghosts. You'll see my Cadillac as a hearse - worse 
than a Bible with a curse. But today, no regrets and no 


From The Beat: Terrific piece. As it moves along it turns into a powerful 
poem. Good work, Andres. 

1 r 

1! I n I r 

Weird Fends 

A weird food we eat here in juvy is ham and yams, 
never heard of that until I came here. Also, the leftover 
food we get from the day before is weird. Most of the food 
here sucks, but it's either eat or starve. Today we had 
some good food. Dinner was the best. We had pizza and 
some pineapple. For snack we had ice cream. So today 
has been pretty much a good day. Peace. 


From The Beat: Right. We know what you mean. Most of the time yams 
are served with snails, or frogs legs. So that ham, that's weird. 

I had ' 

Speeking Up Abnnt A Trip 

Here's a story about me and my two friends. We were 
best friends in middle school, but one of them moved to 
LA. But the other one stayed here. He'd bought a car and 
so one day we drove down to visit our other friend in East 
LA. He said he knew some girls in Mexico and a place we 
could stay. Se we drove down there for the weekend. We 
partied like there was no tomorrow. 

On the way back, when we were crossing the border, 
one of my friends said he had three pounds of marijuana 
hidden in the car. I couldn't freaking believe it. He didn't 
tell me anything until we were at the border. Luckily, 
we made it. That was one experience I had to speak up 
about, and tell them that it wasn't cool. I was hella scared 
crossing that border. But they were laughing. It seemed 
funnier, afterwards. Well, that's my real life story. We're 
still good friends. 

-Shocked Passenger 

From The Beat: You are lucky that you and your friends didn't end up 
facing federal charges. The danger those guys placed you in doesn't 
sound much like friendship, to us. We're glad you didn't let it pass. 
If you hang out with those guys again, ask a lot of questions before 
crossing any borders, actual or metaphorical. 

Spenidng Up 

It's always good to speak up, unless it's not necessary. 
If you're on the same page as me, you'll know what I'm 
talking about. If you're chilling with homies and one 
homey gets dp'd, you should keep your thoughts to 
yourself. But if you see a male beating a woman, you 
should speak up, because that stuff is not cool. 


From The Beat: You are right - that stuff is not cool at all. In general, 
we agree with you that it is often best to keep quiet and observe. But 
when something really bad is happening, you should indeed speak up. 

Ii Ike SlilOR 


I walk in the shadow of death. 

As I look up from the ditch, 

my body is in a state of shock. 

The bullets knock on my chest. 

My shirt is stained with blood. 

They close my coffin, like a trap door. 

I'd made a promise 

I would never reach the surface. 

Over the months my body turns to dust, 

my soul, a ghost. 

There is sadness in this grave that no one 

but the bees will visit him. 


From The Beat: Hey, where have you been keeping these poems. A? This 
one^ dark, but fine. 

The Promise 

I made a promise 

to not fall in the ditch - 

to stay on the surface. 

While I walked in the shadow 

of the night, a trapdoor opened. 

A cradle waited. 

I fell on my skull. 

As I lay there bleeding, 

I felt myself becoming a ghost. 

From The Beat: Scary poem B. But a good one. 

-B ' 


//// // 



What crackin wit you Beat? Man am still posted in 


I got like 53 days then I head to new foundations but 



From The Beat: So what about you, who^ your worst enemy? Who^ your . 
biggest ally? What are you thinking about Si% you post? I 

Doing Good 

I'm doing good in this program I'm finally getting my 
furloughs and I'm feeling good. I should be getting out in 
about a couple of months and I can't wait. Ima be with my 
baby mama and my family and Ima be back in school and 
get my credits, hopefully get a job and take care of me, my 
kid and be a happy family with my girl. 

-Yung Rell 

From The Beat: Congratulations on getting your furloughs, feeling 
good, and doing well. You sound clear about what's most important to 
you. Keep going! 



People always think they should get everything! They 
think they own the place when it's not even theirs! 

People are even selfish enough to think that even 
though they're in a place where they don't own anything 
they think everything should be about them and what 
they want or about where they sit, shower, and sleep! 

People get to me when they don't think about anyone 
but themselves! I don't get why people who are selfish 
deserve things good! 

-Lil' Skittles 

From The Beat: We actually think everyone deserves good in life! We 
too however are frustrated when people feel they must be selfish. Do 
you think people are sometimes afraid they won't get what they need? 

Betiil Eneni liies 


My worst enemy is the inside of me... it's because I have 
to fight myself everyday to make the right choice but it 
seems like I let my enemy take over my life and win the 
battle. That's my enemy, it's myself. 


From The Beat: People %siy this is true for all of us, also that our biggest 
ally is inside of us too. There^ a story that names them wolves that 
fight inside of us — and they ^Sky the one that wins, (the good or the 
bad) is the one that we feed. Do you feed the enemy inside of you 
with thoughts and by giving up? Can you feed the other side with 
encouragement, hope, and love? 

Dflly 41 Days 

A whats crackin Beat. Me just chillin in New-Founds. I'm 
hecka juiced because 7 1/2 months already went by. Now 
its only 41 more days til I get out. 

I was just wondering if I could get in contact with 
The Beat when I get out. How? Put this in The Beat and 
answer me. Because I'm trying to write to The Beat and 
let you know whatsup with my job and tell you how I'm 
doing in school. 


From The Beat: Congratulations! But you know we had to edit most of 
your piece because you were talking about plans for when you get out 
that will just end you up in the same old hole. Your sense of pride is 
important, and needs to include what you work to accomplish in your 
life. YES please write to us and let us know how your job and school is 
going. Our address inside on the first pages of every Beat. 

Keeping My Head 

Man I wanna change but it seem like the world I'm in 


I just lost three potnas this week. This shhh getting crazy. 

Hopefully the ghetto calm down when I touch down. 

Get a degree hopefully. 

-Wanna Change 

From The Beat: We are sorry about the loss of your friends. It sounds 
like it might be very wise for you to focus on something like getting a 
degree. What are you interested in studying? 

Whip Lash 

What that do Beat this that ninja Shawny from Vallejo 
tryna get there fast like whip lash-but the system tryna 
give me April but ya boy been in here since March 08 so 
I'ma fighting! Back in February ya dig? 


From The Beat: We edited to keep everything in your own best interest. 
How would your life be if you were willing to get there slowly, or just 
not at break-neck speed? 


//// // 

Over a Year 


Well today I'm going to talk about my life. They call me 
young Goof, I'm from Vacaville. I'm 17 years old and I've 
been in here for over a year. I get out in March and I've 
been in here since October of 2007. Well Beat I'm get at 
ya'U. So until next time. 


From The Beat: We know the details of your current incarceration, but 
we're sure there's much more that^ important about your life. What did 
you love to do when you were a Icid? What^ it like to be you in your 
family, do people take the time to understand and know you? How was 
school for you, and are you finished? If you could always be your best i 
self, what would that be like? I 

Your own Worst Enemy 

I am my worst enemy because when I got out the last 
time I was only out for one day then I got locked again 
and now I got to be here for a while, and that's why I am 
my worst enemy. 

-Free for One Day 

From The Beat: You may be your own worst enemy, and you may also 
be your best ally. Which do you listen to? People say it's like having 
wolves that fight inside of you, and that the one that wins— is the one 
you feed. Use your time inside to get to know yourself, the bad and 
the good! 


Yoor Owfl Worst Enemy 

Thursday October 3rd, 2008 during school hours about 
12 pm when I was walking out the principals office with 
a big smile on my face, feeling nothing but good inside of 
me. I was just notified that I earned my work permit. 

After 6 months that I been trying to do good. Attend 
to school everyday and have strait A's. I finally hit my 
buUseye. Well that's what I had though until October 4th, 
2008 about 7:15. .To be continued 


From The Beat: Regardless of what happened on the 4th, everything 
you did up to that point is still true. It^ not like you'll ever "get there." 
Life is a process, you keep trying and you do reach goals. When you 
reach goals you set new ones. Now you know you can do what you set 
your mind to. 

Handle my Business 

What I need to do to get out of here is handle my business 
listen to staff. When I get out I'm going to stop selling 
drugs and stop doing hot shh so I don't get arrested. 


From The Beat: You have some good ideas. What are you going to do 
instead of selling drugs? How will you get money? What are you good 
at? Maybe that could somehow help you get a job. 

k, I 

The thing is when I don't know I feel trapped and stuck 
when I cant talk to or see her the days go by slower than 
anything. The day that I will be calm is the day we can be 
free together and flourish in our own beauty and thoughts. 
Minds racing... constantly pulsing with questions and 
answers, yet I just don't know. 

Anymore stress and I'll explode... Move. Get out, get 
free complete everything so you can be together! That's 
just some of it I don't know I'm being random with what's 
on my mind. But it's true I want to scream at people, "I'm 
in love." 


From The Beat: Do you wish you could scream at people so that they 
would know, or because you feel overwhelmed by your own strong 
feelings? How can you honor your love? (that feeling, knowledge ■ 
inside) I 


S, I 

I Miss You 

My thoughts are true, I want to be with you, I left you all 
alone. All I could do is call you on the phone, roses are 
dead violets are boo I'm in jail but not with you. 


From The Beat: Can you write a letter? It can be hard to have to deal 

with your feelings when you have a lot of time alone. Reading and 

I writing often help. We're sorry about your loss. 

I I I I 

I I I I I I 

Down Hill 

I have had a lot of self sabotage. I was in the drug 
program and I would be doing good but I would always 
fall backwards. Every time I would mess up my program 
I felt stupid. I felt stupid because I disappoint my family 
and a lot of people. It wouldn't really be a big deal if I were 
already doing it but it hurts when your doing good. 

And when I got out the program I was doing good and I 
self sabotaged myself. When I got out I was on the football 
team, (starting) my grades were up, and I was staying out 
of trouble. But then I started smoking weed again. Every 
thing was good for a minute until I got caught up by the 

Everything went down hill from there. I quit the 
football team. My grades went down, and I started popping 
pills and playing with my nose. 


From The Beat: We're sorry about your down fall! It sounds like you 
know that when you started smoking weed again you were slippin.' 
It seems better to sacrifice weed than your whole life and future. Do 
you want to create your life with things that make you feel good about 

I yourself, or destroy yourself? That^ what it comes down to, and we're 
not saying it% easy— but it is crucially important. 

Mnre Fend 

We need more food and they need to stop making more 
prisons. Start making more farms and jobs. They should 
just invest in the jails that are already made. 

In our jail we don't have no more salt or pepper, milk 
is spoiled and orange juice is spoiled. They just say there 
is not enough money. I think the people are just be greedy 
that own the juvenile hall here. 


From The Beat: Things are being cut and whittled away everywhere 
right now. Sometimes there is not enough money and sometimes we 
fear there won't be enough money soon. 

Stimulating Tiie Ecnnomy 

I think we need to get more places in our state like 
houses and stores to build for the poor people that are 
hungry and that need jobs so they can work at the new 
stores that been built. And when they get enough money 
they can buy the new houses that been built. 

I can choose to change my ways but sometimes I 
choose to do bad when I think of satan's demons but all 
I need is some help by God and I can become a better 
person in life. I will change! 

I understand I have enemies that can mess me up and 
make me do wrong that's why I think my worst enemy is 
the people of satan that I hang around. But if I can learn 
about the Lord then I can become something in life. 


From The Beat: We all choose between creating our lives, using whatever 
skills and resources we have to make something of our lives, or to 
destroy what we have, and our potential. Sometimes it seems easier 
not to try so hard, because we think we won't then be disappointed. We 
think that you experience life through reaching and trying hard, even 
when it doesn't all work, than when we are depressed and watch it all 
disappear. Take the risk of choosing to change and see what you can 
make of your life! 


P4i^f // 



I just got sentenced I'm servin 5 months 

If I was out I'd probably be ... 

but instead I'm sittin' in this tiny cell 

this shhh got me hot I'm mad as hell 

This shhh got me crazy I'm ready to leave 

I should be out there with my ninjas getting fedi and 


but it just won't happen cause the rollers wanna hate 

they see a ninja eatin so they wanna take my plate 

It still aint too late my ninja I aint thru wit it 

I'm thinking bout my life and what I wanna do wit it 

just hopin that my God let me see anotha day 

and take me out the dark so I can find the way 

I'm real real wit it boy and I'm livin that life 

get it and stay committed like a husband and a wife 

I gotta get my dough so I continue slangin 

but I'm alert and a target and I know these ninjas aimin' 

The cops on my clock so I know when it's hot 

and when it gets to that point then I'm shakin the spot. 

I'm playin a game and I'm in it to win 

but these punk police had to get me again. 

I told myself I wasn't comin back but I just couldn't do it 

I blew it and boy I done been thru it. 


From The Beat: You sound frustrated by this cycle. You must walk 
yourself out of the dark. If you don't want to come back you know 
what you need to do. You can't live the same life and hope it will turn 
out differently. 


100 years of boredom 

12 hours of beauty 

I want to hear colors 

And feel sounds 

Infinity is zero 

There's no point 

I'm finally only comfortable 

"breathe. Breathe in the air" 

and so I do 

What are you doing? 

I'm watching the sunrise 

Through an open window 

Where was I? 

No where 

100 years of blandness 

12 hours of sun in your eyes 


From The Beat: Your writing is always interesting, we are surprised you 
are ever bored because you think deeply. What do you wish was "the 
point?" What if the blandness was somehow beautiful too? 

My Weekend 

Whats up with Beat? Long time no see. But yup today 
I'm writing about my weekend. 

Well I got to go home for a few hours I got to spend 
time with my lil' mama and family. I had a good time, 
moms cooked some chicken enchiladas-man they were 
hecka good. I felt like not coming but then I though about 
it and decided to come back because if I didn't it was just 
going to make the situation worse than it already is. But 
anyways I can't wait to get my next furlough. Its hecka 
boring in here. 

-Pancho Villa 

From The Beat: By this time you may have had more furloughs. We 
think it^ great that you get practice dealing with the outs before you 
are released. It^ good to practice making the decisions that keep you 


Where I'm from, its hard to stay out of trouble cause 
the gang task officers just be everywhere lookin for us, 
as soon as they see our clothes we get pulled over quick 
for no reason they just be messin with us they are just 
racist. They hate all the homeboys. 

But other than that it's crackin especially at night, 
we are always at parties with hecka alcohol and a lot of 
females kick'n it and on the streets walkin around trying 
to see whats up with whoever. That's the beauty in my 
hood. That's it Beat for now.... 


From The Beat: We understand you like to feel good and have fun. 
You're almost released however, and we hope you think about your 
life more seriously Sk% well. The gang task officers are tipped off by 
the clothes you wear, if you don't want them to mess with you, don't 
wear those clothes. Will partying get you your goals, help you finish in 
school and get, and keep a good job? It% time to stop playing. 


Wassup wit it Beat. It's the homeboy back again. Am I 
going to change this year on what I do? I say no. I live my 
day by day. I can't quit the gang life. There aint no way. 

When you see me in the streets I ain't doing no 
running. This is all the stuff I know. I was raised with this 
attitude. It's por vida. I ask for forgives but I feel like I had 
to do what I had to do but then again maybe its just the 
old me running with the pain. 

But send all my love. And when I'm gone in this life 
of hate Just let my body lie in peace on top of the hill 
because I'm the king of the hill. 


From The Beat: We wish you didn't have to wait for death to have peace. 
We did edit to keep everything positive for everybody. Who's the old 
you that runs with the pain? Do you read the Beat Without in the end 
of the Beat? 


Relax take a second glance! 

Turn around take a chance! 

Don't get put into a trance! 

So we don't have to see you prance! 

Its time to walk instead of dance 

Never thought I'd see you in this stance! 

-Lil' Skitties 

From The Beat: Who are you advising in this poem? Does it apply to you 
too? Is it because times are tough that you think it^ important to think 
for yourself, or because of your age? We guess there is a time to walk 
and a time to dance... 


//// // 

Baby Mamma Drama 


What I know now that I didn't know a year ago... is how 
to stay away from baby mammas. Last year in May I met 
Miguel, too bad I didn't meet his babies's mamma first. 
One of his kids was quiet, and the other one was jealous 
because I was dating his dad. When His babies' mamma 
found out, all hell broke loose. There were non-stop 
phone calls to my house, as well as her showing up at my 
house and insults through MySpace. 

Now in 2009, I have a different man in my life that 
does not have babies, or baby mammas around. Now I 
am going to leave all the baby mamma drama behind this 
year and be happy with my new man. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you learned a lot last year about relationships. 
WE hope you Icep larning sk% this year goes on, and remember what 
kinds of people and things you don't want to expose yourself to. 

Money Over Grime 

What's good Beat? I think that making money is 
important. I think this because I just turned 18 and now I 
have a car and have to pay insurance for it. But the thing 
about making money is that you have to give up other 
stuff like hanging out with your friends. But you will feel 
better about yourself by doing it the legit way and not the 
criminal way. 


From The Beat: Making your own money the legit way isn't hard for 
most people, and we wish you luck with that. Kepp spreading the good 
word out there. 

Ill I I I I I III 

My Girl, My Love 

I love Yeng. She is my girlfriend, she is my blood and she 
controls my life for me. I want to tell her how much I love 
her. But she doesn't see my love that I give to her. When 
I close my eyes I see her in my dream holding hands with 
me. When I wake-up I always get on my knee's and pray 
that my dream will come true. She's the one I love. She's 
the one I need, I promise in my heart that when I get out, 
I will marry her and love her forever. 


From The Beat: You have a deep and sincere love for your girl but we 
noted that you mentioned that perhaps that it is not reciprocated or 
she doesn't see it? Sometimes in life, some of us go through a little 
heartbreak with a few relationships before we find a lifetime partner. 
We hope that one day you will find yours. 

Wliat Kind Of Worid Am I In 

What kind of world am I living in? 

Selling dope, trying to get this night in the wind. 

Going around, thinking that I am in love. 

My best friend had to go around and interrupt. 

Woke up on my knees saying please God please. 

Protect the one that has protected me 

And help the homeless into what they want to be. 

What kind of world am I living in? 

Drive by down my block 

And now my homie's dead. 

Going home, finding out I got caught up with the FEDs. 

Now I am lying up in somebody else's bed. 

What kind of world am I living in? 


From The Beat: The world can be a scary place, especially when you 
experience things that are out of your control. But we ask you now, 
what are you doing to make the world you live in worse? 


THe New Presideot 

I think that Barack Obama being the new president will 
really help the Black community. 


From The Beat: We are glad to see you optimism about our new president, 
and we wonder how you can help your community Sk% well Sk% helpnig 
yourself this coming year. 

Cil Is (real 


I have had a few experiences with God. One night, I was 
waiting for the bus so that I could go meet my girlfriend 
at the mall, and I was wearing one of my best outfits 
including a new pair of shoes that my brother bought for 
me. I never made it to the mall though, because I was beat 
up for my shoes and stabbed seven times in my back, 
neck, and spine. Today I am fine and I survived. 

In the past I have done bad things but got away 
with them and one night after work, on Christmas Eve, 
I rushed home to change. Then I was going to drive to 
my girlfriend's house to open gifts, but on the way I was 
pulled over and was taken into custody. 

A week later, two of my beast friends were in a fatal 
car accident and died. I can remember being in the car 
with the driver and telling him to slow down because he 
was going too fast and he just replied that he knew what 
he was doing and not to worry. I am not mad that I am in 
here today, I am grateful because I am still alive. I believe 
that God is great, and that he put me in here to save me 
from the troubles that were near me. 


From The Beat: Many things in life happen for a reason, but most of 
what happens depend on the choices that you make. We are sorry for 
your loss and hope that you do good things with the life that you still 

My Enemy Is Me 

I got enemies already up in the streets but there is this 
girl who's like my worst enemy. I can't stand her. She stay 
getting me into shhh. I am locked up because of her. I got 
kicked out of school because of her. She got me into pills 
and into gangs. She turned me into a goon. Ain't it crazy 
and she's me. 


From The Beat: We can be our own worst enemy. Strangely enough we 
can be the hardest problem to solve. It is very hard to self-reflect and 
watch ourselves. Sometimes our emotions or addictions control us but 
no matter who in us in doing the controlling we always pay for the 

Bnred Nn Mnre 

In 2008 my big lesson was that I am doing time now for 
trying to hurt my sister. But now that it is 2009 I want to 
go home because I have learned my lesson. 

The reason I tried to hurt my sister was because I 
was bored and I just wanted to hurt her. On of the things 
I learned in here is that when I am bored I can write or 
color, and that I shouldn't hurt people. Boredom is the 
devil in your mind. Sometimes when I am bored here in 
my room I will sleep or try to cut my wrists with my wrist 
band, and sometimes I can't believe that I am getting 
through this by myself. 


From The Beat: It sounds like you have a lot to deal with beyond 
boredom. It^ hard to deal with your problems when you can't get past 
having nothing to do with your time. We hope you reach out to people 
and find healthy things to do with your time in and outside of the 


//// // 



Addicted to the pill that's what it is 

Addicted to the pill and how it makes me feel. 

It's a feeling you can get when you are down, or 

even when you just don't want to be around. 

I love it more than you will ever know 

But the worst thing is it has taken control. 

Over me, my body, mind and soul 

I never knew how far it could go. 

I wish I could go and stay away. 

I'll always know it's just one call away. 

So when I'm in pain or hurting all I'll have to do 

is just pick up the phone and tell 'em 'come through.' 


From The Beat: Drugs are sat illusion that trap us. At first the feelings 
seem good but all we are doing is chasing a dragon we will never catch. 
Before we know it we are enslaved to this drug that we thought would 
free us. Free yourself. 

In again \ 

Man, I'm in here again and I'm in here with one of my 
best friends. I can't wait to get out and get some money. 
For real 'cause being in here, you can't do nothing. I 
practically know all the staff and it's getting real old fast. 
But I got love for them and what they do. 

I'm about to be 18 years old in July and it's coming 
fast. I can't wait to get out of the system. I can't wait to 
see my niece Myesha and hopefully spend some time with 
her. I just found out my girl Shanrika cheated on me. I 
was so hurt but I have to move on. Hopefully I'm going to 
be out real soon. 


From The Beat: Well, we are sorry you are back again. What is your plan 
to utilize this time? How can you put it to use? What will you do to 
prepare for when you get out and what will you do to prevent yourself 
from returning. We wish you the best. 

RIP Juan 


Have you ever lost anybody that you loved? Well, I have. 
I once had a homeboy that passed away. Everyday that 
goes by I ask myself, why do people die? Why do people 
have to suffer? I remember that day I got the phone call. 
My home girl called and told me what had happened. I 
didn't know how to react to it. I mean it was coming. I 
was always in the streets gang-banging, not caring about 
anybody sad. 

He was always a down ass homie, always putting in 
work, never backing down. He was the down homie in the 
barrio but like they say, the bravest soldier always goes 
down first. We always pray for you homie. Always in our 
hearts. Rest in Paradise. We love you. 

-Lady Brown 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss of your friend. We too do not 
understand why death happens but we know it will happen and cannot 
be stopped but why risk dying. We respectfully ask why people gang- 
bang if they know they can expect death? It doesn't make %en%e to u%. 
Thank you for sharing. We wish you peace. 


Good to Be Locked Up! 

It's good to be locked up because I've been able to stop 
my addiction to weed and beer. Being locked up helped 
me to open my eyes to see that I was going down the 
wrong path. I see that it's not good and I'm going to have 
to chill out of my mind. I want to do well in here, if I want 
to do good out in society. 


From The Beat: We are glad that you recognize your need to succeed. 

Hey Beat Within! 

Well see man I'm in here doing six months for something 
stupid, effing robbery and I still got 5 months to go. Man 
it sucks being in here for 5 more months. I gotta eat the 
same routine of food and wake up at 6:00 AM. Well that 
sucks very much. I miss my house, my cloths, my mom's 
food and more things especially my family. 

Well that's all I got to say to The Beat Within. Hope I'll 
see you next week. 


From The Beat: Yeah JJC isn't suppose to be fun. Whatever you did to 
get in here, was it worth it? Thanks for sharing. 

Oice l|ii I liie 


When I was little I read stories that started with "once 
upon a time..." and always ended with "happily ever after." 
In my own life story though, I don't think there is going to 
be a happily ever after ending for me. 

Once upon a time there was a girl who grew up 
sheltered from the world, her mom never taught her 
about all the big bad wolves that were out in the world. 
So when she got old enough to make her own decisions, 
she made the wrong ones. She started exploring things 
that a young girl shouldn't get into. During the time it 
was happening, it all seemed fun and exciting, but that 
was because she didn't know that she was setting herself 
up for failure. She became very sad because she felt like 
all the other teens were doing even more fun things that 
she hadn't been doing like drugs. So she got into that too, 
and now her story will not end with happily ever after. 

My story is this story, and it ends with being locked 
up. Now I sit in a room wishing that I could just go home, 
and be sheltered from the wolves there, where my mom 
can keep me safe. 

- Deezy 

From The Beat: Fairy tale stories tend to not show us the real facts 
of life. That makes it hard to believe in them. But just because you 
made bad choices in the past, doesn't mean you have to repeat them, 
or that you can't find your own happy ending. Keep your head up and 
remember that we all make our own happy endings in life, even though 
they may not be like the fairy tales you have read. 

Wiiat You Want Baby 

What do you want baby? 

Let me know if you want me or not. 

It's hard for me to wait for you 

when you don't look or talk to me. 

Baby, I do everything for you. 

But you don't even notice. 

I really really want to be with you. 

What do you want baby? 

Why are you doing this to me? 

I see you with another girl 

And it hurts me. 

I turned around and ran away from you. 

I wanted to die right then and there 

When I saw you with her. 

You saw me and you tried to stop me 

But I kept on running and crying. 

I wasn't ready to talk to you then. 

I couldn't face you then. 

What do you want from me now baby? 


From The Beat: It hurts when the ones we care about are distant, but 
the best thing for you to do now is to worry about the most important 
person: yourself. 


//// // 

Couldn't Drop The Smoke 


Well, I've been on probation for two years over a 
misdemeanor for vandalism. I just couldn't stay clean 
while on probation. Weed was my problem. I was doing 
about seven months. I even graduated my drug program. 
Then I relapsed. I completed a lot of community service 
and only had two weeks left of probation after one and 
a half years. I was still smoking and drinking and I was 
happy to have two weeks left. I thought it was all good. My 
PO thought I was clean. 

I was faking all my tests. I know it was the wrong 
thing to do but I didn't think I was gonna get caught. 

Well, I had two weeks left and my PO found weed on 
me at school. Seven months later and I couldn't stay 
clean. So I've been locked up for six months to ensure 
that I will not use. My best advice is to do what you gotta 
do to stay out of the system. 

- Deezy 

From The Beat: It seems you were smoking and drinking all along and 
you could have been busted at any time. They just caught up to you a 
little late. It seems like staying off weed was what you had to do to 
stay out of the system. What do you have to do to get off weed? Can 
you stop smoking? I 

!re 1 

M]f Own Worst Enemy 

I'm my own worst enemy for the fact that I'm in here 
and I can't do anything to prevent that. But it's all good 
because whatever happens I'm going to keep my head up 
high and ride it through. If I had another chance I'd take I 
it and run with it because you only live life once. ' 

So if someone like my homies kicks it with you, you're 
bound to get in trouble because they'll beat around the 
bush until you do it, like beer, weed, cocaine, and other 
drugs. You'll end up in here over something like robbery, 
burglary, assault, and all kinds of other stuff. So when 
someone peer pressures you just say, "nan man, I'm cool 
and just go kick it with someone else. 


From The Beat: Great advice! 

Being Thankful 


What's up Beat? 

Well, I'm writing to say thanks to my dad. I thank 
my dad because he had been here to support me through 
these nine months that I have been here. Anytime I have 
been stressing or been depressed he has been here for 

Also I thank God for letting me to be able to wake 
up everyday and letting me learn from my mistakes. For 
everyone out there, I want you to know that you should 
be thankful for those who are supporting you through 
this rough time. 


From The Beat: We learn from our mistakes and move forward. 

One Year Wiser 

Last year I was always getting high with my friends 
and wasn't caring about going to school. I would always 
ditch school and go to my friend's house. But when this 
year started, I got locked up for a dumb reason, and that 
reason is my fault. Hopefully, I will be going to SAU to get 
clean and stay clean. 


From The Beat: Staying clean is very important, but so is making wise 
choices about who you choose to surround yourself once you are clean. 

Negative Tiiouglits Ruin Me 

I'm my own worst enemy when I let negative thoughts 
go through my head. When I think negative, I do foolish 
things like this last time. I effed up big time! See probation 
and the court give me a monitor for 90 days and I was 7 
months away from being 18 so they let me out. I was so 
happy and I was gonna try once again to make my papa 
bear proud. 

Then the negative thoughts rushed in a month after 
and I effed up. I left the house and cut off the monitor. 
All then negative memories rushed through my mind like 
a broken record. So I stopped caring about the person I 
wanted to be proud of: me. I took off for about 6 months 
after my 18th birthday and little did I know I would be 
spending 2 weeks in his place again. They haven't even 
sentenced me yet. But I do want to do good. I really do. 

I'm already enrolled in Fresno City College to get my 
HS diploma I'm so excited but I just hope I don't let those 
negative thoughts and memories get the best of me. I'm 
18 now and I can't mess up anymore or I'll go to county." 
That's what my papa bear would say. So, I gotta be strong 
and pray for the best. 

-Love Sweetone 

From The Beat: When a person stops caring about themselves and a 
person stops making the best decisions for themselves then that person 
is like you ^Sky "their own worst enemy." So, what does a person do 
when they are their worst threat? We suggest adopting mentors and 
discussing our situation with people who have been through the same 
situation si% us. It is important to listen to others before we make 
destructive mistakes. 

Giving Dacii To tiie Community 

A change, I decided to drop a lot of my friends and find 
out what I want to do in life. Being in Juvenile Hall has 
me thinking about going to the army or being a firefighter 
to help out my community. 

I have been thinking about coming back to JJC in a 
couple of years and cutting hair for the youth incarcerated. 
I want to help out a lot of people; this is a New Year's 
resolution that's going to help me out to forgive a lot of 


From The Beat: This is a healthy outlet in helping others Si% you help 

Just Gliillin' 

Today I don't know what to say. It seems like every topic 
now is about Obama. I know he is gonna be the Prez but 
hey, we can't do anything about what's going on on the 
I outs because we're in here, but I guess that's just my 
opinion. I'm going to be getting out when I'm 18 so maybe 
I'll think more about it then, but for right now, I'm just 
gonna chill up here in JJC. Peace out Beat! 


From The Beat: Thanks for being honest and sharing your opinion. Here 
on the outs, Obama has hyped up the world and has given many people 
a new %Gn%G of hope. When you turn 1 8, we hope you register yourself 
to vote so you can see why all this hype going on. 

Wliat's Op Deat? 

I'm almost out. I got about three weeks left. I'm just 
waiting and trying to stay out of trouble. 

I just want to tell all out there to remember, it's not 
worth it so don't get too far in it. Peace out Beat! 

-Lil Panic 

From The Beat: Great advice! Good luck to you. 


//// // 

It Will Come 


Might have to run 

Yell, "it's coming." 

Over and over its back on me; the thought "willing to do 

anything to get away." 

Never thought you would come back this hard 

Wish I would never have gone this route at such a young 


Obey by its rules and you won't get hurt 

Runs through our vulnerable weak minds 

Street smart and has all the right words 

Everyone might not get the chance to meet you but I 


Mom warned me about you and she knew you would 


Envy and want is something you'll never feel with it 


You'll always get what you want and long as you work for 


Nothing can stop it but you 

You tell everybody about it. They either believe it or not 

but it's out there and if you let it, your worst enemy will 



From The Beat: You seem very aware of this destructive impulses. 
Woric on setting up a support system. We suggest adopting mentors 
and discussing your situation with people who have been through the 
same situation si% us. It is important to listen to others before we make 
destructive mistakes. Until we confront and come to terms with our 
own demons then we will never be able to advance. Good luck. 


I did so much bad. I don't know how to change. I try so 
hard to be a good person, but something always gets in 
the way. When I hear about it, I turn into the devil. 

I don't know what to do sometimes so I go out like a 

Now look where I'm at, in the same place where I was 
before, different day and different time. 

Change is good, and I need it now. Maybe it's about 
time. I look forward to change. Maybe it might help. But 
now I am doing what I am doing, trying to keep up with 
life, so now I am here and I am going to get done with 


From The Beat: Ceedo, let's think about this for a moment. What is 
it that gets in the way? What forces you to turn savage? If you can 
identify what these things are, then next time they come up, be strong 
against them. It won't be esksy, but when you know what these things 
are that prevent you from doing good, then you're taking a step toward 
changing for the better. Does that make sensel 

If I Would Have Known 


The reason I'm locked up right now is because I made a 
dumb choice, and that was not to go to court. The reason 
I didn't go to court was because I didn't feel like getting 
locked up. I knew was going to get locked up, I just didn't 
know for how long. It turns out if I would have went to 
court, I would have only done three days. 

So now I'm in here for two weeks, going to court 
hopefully, and I get out later this month. I go back to 
court and get one more chance in drug court. I've learned I 
that little problems can turn into a big problem if you ' 
don't take care of it sooner. 


From The Beat: Very good observation! Sometimes we live in fear because 
we don't know what will happen. We would rather run away from our 
problems than face them. It seems like you learned a very important 
lesson. How will you use this newfound wisdom in future situations? 

What Matters 

What matters to me the most is my mom because she 
does everything for me and whenever I get into trouble 
she is always there with no hesitation. When I see my 
mom crying it just kills me and it hurts more, knowing 
that she's probably worried sick about me. 


From The Beat: A lot of people write to us about their moms, and our 
advice is the same to you. Show your mom how much you respect her 
by doing better things for yourself. That's all mothers want for their 

Mooey Over Mom 

I think that making money is important but making my 
mom proud is more important because money is always 
going to be there and your mom will not live forever. 


From The Beat: You sound like you have gotten wiser over the last 
year. We wish you luck in the future and hope you do make your mom 
I proud. 

Why Time 

Time is time, why is that? 

I don't know why. 

Time is a good name 

But doing time is not so good. 

-Time Counter 

From The Beat: Having the time to be on this earth and make the best of 
what your life has to offer it the best way to use your time. 

I Your Worst Enemy 

I think that my worst enemies are my friends because 
I listen to the streets instead of my mom, that's how I 
ended up in here again in the hall. 

The streets are the reason why I got in trouble and 
I am going to change my life and go back to school. The 
streets are my worst enemy. And I know God will forgive 

I me. 
From The Beat: Some people try to stay away from their friends, others 
try to lift them up iks well, whatever the choice it sounds like changes 
are happening for you. 

I'm Going to Do it! 

All my life I've been making bad choices. My mom always 
told me if you make wrong decisions you're going to have 
to pay for it. But, I never listened. Now, I wish I did. 

I love my mom and my family. When I get out of here 
I want to finish school and complete my drug rehab. I 
am going to show my family I can do it. My girl wants me 
to do better, not just for me, but for us. When I get out 
I'm going to show her that I can do it. I'm going to quit 
smoking and I'm going to make something of myself. I 
miss being with my family. 

My girl is beautiful. She is everything that I want in 
a girlfriend. She is nice and has a good personality. It 
sucks; I'm in here and not to mention the nasty food. 
It's lonely in here; I don't like it at all. I'm in here for not 
doing my rehab. I've missed too many days. I want to 
quit, but it's addicting. I'm going to quit for my family 
and my girlfriend. 


From The Beat: You're right, addictions are difficult. It helps to have a 
strong support but remember to do it for you first. 


//// // 



I'm going to write about how I got in this place. I 
was locked up at boot camp and I was doing good and 
everything. I was about to go home in about a month but 
the staff took me with them to clean a park. When they 
took me an old friend of mine said he was planning to 
escape. I told him I would go with him too. So he and I left 
from the work detail and we AWOLed. 

We both ran but I couldn't run anymore cause I was 
out of breathe so I told him to keep going. But he stayed 
with me. Then we saw one of the boot camp staff person 
come close to where we were. He was in the probation 
truck. My homie jumped in the canal and I did the same. 
Then the helicopter came and was looking for us but we 
were in our green suits so we camouflaged ourselves in 
the grape fields. We got away, and then I got caught a 
month later at the corner of my homie's house. But if I 
were to go back in time, I wouldn't have done it because I 
hurt my family. Now I won't get out until late this year. 

So to all you people doing your time, just do it and 
think about what you do because it affects other people. 


From The Beat: What a crazy story! You really learned your lesson, it 
seems. Running away can only make it worse. And even if you got 
away, you'd still have to live your life almost in hiding. It would be hard 
to get a job and go to school. It would be hard to turn your life into 
something positive. We're glad you realize you have to just face it and 
get through it. 

My Own Worst Enemy 


When I got out of boot camp again, I was continuing 
Teilman. I was doing well, got good grades, and was not 
using drugs. But once I saw a group of my friends using 
marijuana, I wanted to use it too. 

The reason I started using again was because I just 
wanted to go back to those old days, like back when I i 
started, and didn't have a problem, and I could do whatever | 
I wanted to do. 

My probation officer wanted me to take a weekend 
off, but I refused to go back. And so I had a warrant out | 
for my arrest. I was out there for a good 2 or 3 months, I 
before I ended up getting caught. Now I am stuck in the 
JJC, thinking that I should have just stayed away from ' 
drugs to begin with. I want things to change, but I need to 
change myself first. 


From The Beat: If only we could go back and undo the beginning, but 
unfortunately all you can do now is to learn from your mistake and not 
travel down the same path twice. 

Fir Ihi! Liie If Fiiiil) 


I really miss my family because they always treat me 
how I want to be treated. So that's why I want to talk 
about my family. I like my mom; she always buys me 
whatever I want. She is really nice to me and she gives 
me money whenever I ask her. She really loves me and I 
love her too. 

My sister, she's the best sister. She always invites me 
wherever she goes. She is very nice to me and to my little 
brothers. I treat her pretty bad sometimes but she still 
forgives me. My big brother, I love. He always protects 
me wherever I go. My dad is really funny he always makes 
me laugh. He is the best dad I ever had. I thank him for 
supporting us and for taking care of us. Thanks dad. I 
love my family with all my heart. 


From The Beat: Your family is luclcy to have you too. 

Stickin' It Out 

Running away is a habit. When I have no options left, is 
when I run. I run far away, until there is nothing to see 
behind me. Stress takes over me and pushes me to the 
point where I don't want to go back. 

The shelter here is good, the food is good, the bed is 
good, but the people are bad. Living in a group home is 
tough, but you have to be tough as well. I am not saying 
that I am not tough, because I know that I am. I have been 
through so many events in my life, and people tell me 
that they would have committed suicide if they were me. 

Being in foster care since I was two years old has 
made me a strong person. But yet, I know that I am not 
strong enough because I couldn't stand to stay there for 
the last six months. 

Now I am incarcerated and waiting to get into a new 
home. These are my actions, not anyone else's. I have 
four and a half months left so I need to give it my best 
shot. I AM going to give it my best shot. And no one can 
stop me because God is on my side. 


From The Beat: If you resolve the things that are behind you, then there 
is nothing to run from and you can still move forward, away from your 
past and all that it brings up in your heart and your mind. 

My Thoughts On The New Guy 


Dear Obama, 

I have a lot of things on my mind. And when it comes 
to society I ask myself what about those people that are 
not rich and wealthy? Where will they go in life, besides 
the outskirts of the cities that they already live in? Those 
people need your help, and the one way that you can help 
them, is to give them yourself. But more than individuals 
need you right now, the world needs you. So go do your 

I thing and I'm gonna do mine. 

} -Rudy 

From The Beat: We should all do what we can to lift up our country, and 
Obama is proof that you don't have to be rich or wealthy to leave your 
I home town and do great things with your life. 

Screw The World 

I say eff the world. 
Who cares to live. 
Death is so much better. 
Life is hell. 
I Dreams are fake. 
There is no love in the world. 
Angels aren't real. 
People die everyday. 
Drugs are for dead people. 
Gang members are the devil's work. 
I say Eff the world. 

People say they love you but they don't. 
Hate life and love death. 
Crying is life but who cares. 
God don't bring people back when you ask. 
You get locked up and never get out. 
People kill and get away with it. 
Good people die and bad people live 
I say eff the world. 


From The Beat: We see how this sort of thinking seems accurate when 
we are down. We know how things seem unfair and people can let us 
down but we encourage you to always look for the good in life and 
please never forget that we love you very much. All we can do is offer 
our love, you have to change your attitude to accept our love. We wish 
you the best. 


P4i^f // 

Getting Caught 


I am in here because I violated my probation and they 
say I stole a lawn mower. I am fighting it in court. I am 
trying to get my felony dropped down to a misdemeanor. 
You shouldn't experience anything like this if you 
stay away from bad things. I first got in here because I 
helped my sister's boyfriend move a welding stand-up 
belt Sander and a battery charger from his mom's house 
to his friend's house and it was stolen. I didn't know it 
was stolen and there was a truck following us and it all 
seemed weird. Then I got arrested later that night and so 
did he. 


From The Beat: That's too bad. Sounds like you were innocent and didn't 
know what you were getting yourself into. If you are around certain 
people and you get the feeling they might be shady, you should try to 
stay away from them. 

Haling Enenies 

\ I 

Sometimes you can be your own enemy. But many 
people have enemies. Therefore enemies can be in your 
hood that you don't even know. Having an enemy is a 
hard thing to keep out of your mind. 

An enemy is someone who doesn't wear the same 
color as you. Wearing the wrong color can lead to a bad 
start. And a bad start being an enemy could mean a dozen 
gang members arriving and you being by yourself. Having 
an enemy makes you a target of your surroundings all the 
time. And being an enemy is no joke. 


From The Beat: Thanks for the break down and Sin9ly%\% of Skn enemy. It 
is scary to think you always have to watch your back wherever you go, 
in case wr\ enemy is nearby. It is scary to think you might have enemies 
whom you do not even know. Is this the life to live??? 


More Things To Do 

The government should start spending more money on 
youth, so they can stay out of trouble. They should make 
better recreation centers in the community and quit 
spending so much money on grown-ups and business 
folks who already have money. Start by giving the youth a 
place where they can go when under pressure cause youth 
can be persuaded to do bad things. It doesn't matter how 
many times you get punished, it's how you learn from it. 


From The Beat: Excellent idea! We couldn't have said it better ourselves. 
Investing in our young people today and will reap benefits for the 
future. Thank you for reaffirming this important idea. 


Life is something real 

That makes you want to kill. 

It is not a game. 

But life can end up really lame. 

I look at the ground when I am down. 

Wondering when I am going to be 

Six feet in the ground. 

I am in a box. 

With four sides and no way out. 

I can't believe I am dead 

And that my life has come 

To its end. 


From The Beat: Life is nothing but what you make of it and you ARE 
still alive, because you are writing this to us now. The only way you 
can avoid being put in the ground too soon, is to change the way you 
vieiAf life. 

illiy Inner Seif 

To me, there are things that can separate influence and 
choice. Influence is an excuse that blames other people 
for what you do in other words. 

Choice is being honest and responsible for what you 
"choose" to do. Inside of my head, there is that office, or 
entity that helps me to decide. 

My right side and my left side Have debates. The angel 
is on the left and the devil is on the right. This is what 
everyone calls a conscience. But a conscience can be 
uprising, or it can be your down fall. You make the choice 
to fight that voice or not. I will never fight my inner self. 

-Divine Artist 

From The Beat: Honoring your inner self means more than just listening 
to or not listening to the voices in your head, it means learning to 


honor others ik% well. 

Thinking Thougiits 

When I am thinking thoughts, I am thinking about 
The things I don't got. 

So what could I do, but think about 
The fights that I've fought. 

So when the thoughts that I am thinking 
Are sinking into my mind, 
I get to thinking about life. 
And busting my rhymes. 

So realizing the fighting that I've 
Done in the past. 
Ain't no business to no one and 
I ain't taking it back. 

There's no regrettin' or forgettin' 
What I did for my hood. 
I'm expecting what I'm reppin 
To be misunderstood. 

-Lir Whodini 

From The Beat: These are some good rhymes, but what we hear you 
saying is that you don't regret hurting others, because they would 
probably hurt you if you hadn't. It always takes the first respectable 
person to be the bigger person, the wiser person, who steps away and 
says that their life is not worth the fight. 

illly Enemy 

Who is my worse enemy? My worse enemies are the 
people who just know how to talk crap and they don't 
know what to do. They just like to talk and get you busted 
because that's what they know how to do and they just 
hate on you. 


From The Beat: Enemies are no fun to have because sometimes they are 
the reason for your stress. It's hard to avoid them. But if they are only 
using words against you, and just talking trash, is it possible to ignore 

I love my Family. 

Hey what's up? The only reason I'm here is because I 
have a warrant and I got into a fight but now I realize that 
it is not worth it. Now I am locked up, I can't wait to get 
home with my mommy and my brother and sister. 

Well that's about it. I love my sister Bripsa and I love 
my family. Love always. 


From The Beat:Well we hope you get home soon and you never do 
anything to get yourself locked up again. Good luck. 


//// // 

Parties And Drinking 

Parties with alcohol 'ain't no joke. 

Me and my boys drank to get drunk. 

Until we were at a party, 

And then he got shot. I didn't remember 

Because I was too drunk. 

I thought that was the end of that, 

But man was I wrong. 

When he got out of the hospital. 

He still continued to drink. 

We hit another party. 

And he knocked someone out. 

I ran to the front, and bullets were flying. 

I jumped up and down, 

I thought I got hit. 

There was a whole in my pants. 

But no blood, just meat from my leg. 

It hurt but I just kept drinking. 

After I was done, I went to the hospital. 

But it was okay. 

Parities and alcohol 'ain't no joke. 


From The Beat: We hope that you learned your lesson that night, and 
aren't still playing rock paper scissor with fate. What you did was dumb 
and the only people that will have to live with your actions are the ones 
who will have to bury you if you keep it up. 

Imagine Ifle 


Imagine me, living free and back on the streets. 
Imagine me, making Gees with rappin' on the beats. 
Imagine me, phony free and reppin for my hood. 
Imagine me, making sure that my hood is understood. 
Imagine me, last one standing all alone. 
Imagine me, the only dog going back home. 
Imagine me, the leader of my county. 
Imagine me, the king of the biggest, baddest valley. 

-Lil* Whodini 

From The Beat: Sounds like a very selfish shout out to... yourself. 
Respect is earned not demanded, and we would like to hear more about 
how the people around you make you a better person, not just how 
luclcy they are to have you around. I 

Not Going To Leave 


Sometimes I am my own enemy' cause when I'm on 
the monitor, I still leave and I know I'm going to get in 
trouble. So next time, I'm not going to leave. I'm not going 
to try and get a violation of probation. I'm not supposed 
to leave! 


From The Beat: We hope you stick to your declaration here, that you 
won't leave again. It's not worth another violation and more time locked 

Stop Tiie Drugs 

One thing that I want to change in my life is to stop 
smoking weed and stop using drugs. I want that for me 
and for my family too, so they won't look bad at me, like 
I'm a bad person. 


From The Beat: And you can do it! You can break your addiction, but \t'% 
going to take a lot of hard work and focus. 

Here I am again 

Well here I am once again. D.boy and I'm here to let ya'll 
know how it goes down. 

Okay here I am sitting in Juvenile Hall facing CYA or 
DEITA. Now I see other people come in here for little stuff 
and get little time. But what bothers me is those people 
who cry and say they're suicidal when they only got 30 or 
90 days. Here I am facing real time and I'm not crying and 
wishing I was dead. 

People are quick to say they are gangster and it's the 
hood, but when they get caught up in the streets by the 
law they want to tell on the game. 

You see they call me D.Boy and I'm in here for 
something lightweight. How I feel and how I was taught 
was if you going to gang bang. Do it to the fullest but 
when you get caught don't try to sugarcoat it. If afterwards 
because you wasn't crying when you got caught. Facing 
time ain't that something big. 


From The Beat: We admire your acceptance of the your incarceration 
but getting locked up is certainly not something to take lightly. Being 
locked up will change your life. We hope that the people that are crying 
have fully embraced their situation and are willing to make the life 
changes necessary to prevent a further return to prison. 

Hurting Myseif 

Sometimes I feel like I am my own worst enemy. I do 
things that hurt myself. After I do them, I think about it 
and I regret it. I feel like I should think more before I act. 
When I do things I don't really think. 


From The Beat: Many times we do things that we know can't be good 
for ourselves. It^ a hard habit to break. Next time, what will you do to 
make sure you think before you act? 

i i i i i i i i i i ■ ■ 

Hurts Like Heck 

You know, it is hard living my life point by points and 
having to choose between two families. When I was a kid 
I was adopted by my grandma and grandpa. 

Now I want to see my mom but I am not allowed to. 
So I decided to run the streets, because I feel like my 
grandma doesn't give a dang about me. I just don't care 
anymore. I could be here for five years, and it 'ain't shhh 
to me. I would rather be homeless then to live with my 

Bush was a bad president. When I was homeless, 
he wasn't there doing anything for me. Neither was my 
grandma. Now I have no one except for my homes. 

At the end of the day, the police don't care about you. 

They go home and could care less what happens to you. 

They don't care whether I have a place to go home to. So 

there's no Bush, and there's no grandma and there is no 

police that can make it stop hurting like heck. 

From The Beat: People cannot do everything for us, we have to do it 
ourselves, and all they can do is care. And yes, they all do care, but 
what is the point in helping somebody who clearly doesn't care about 
helping themselves? 



Pues a mi lo que me ha pasado son puras cosas malas. 
Con todos mis enemigos nomas me la paso con puro 

Ahora espero que todo sea diferente cuando saiga de 

Estoy aqui por andar de borracho y de escandaloso. 
Por eso ya no voy a andar tomando porque no quiero 
volver a caer aqui. 

Esto no es nada agradable. Esto no deja nada bueno 
nomas deja puros problemas y enemigos que nomas te 
quiero hacer la vida imposible, arruinarte todo lo que 
tienes en la vida. 

Ahora quiero cambiar mi vida porque ya no quiero 
tener los mismos problemas. Ahora quiero algo bueno en 
mi vida, mirar cosas nuevas, y cambiar. 

Pongansen truchas todos los que tienen problemas 
con sus enemigos. 

From The Beat: Claro que estar aqui no es nada agradable, tampoco 
es agradable tener problemas con otras personas. Parece que estas 
refleccionando para tu propio bien. No arruines tu vida. Todavia estas a 
tiempo para hacer un cambio y que ese cambio te evite muchos problemas 
y alamentaciones. Puedes vivir tu vida difente si quisieraaas — una vida 
llena de alegria y fuera de miedo de que otra persona que lastima. 


What have happened to me are just a lot of bad things. I 
keep getting into trouble with all my enemies. 

Now I expect everything to be different when I get 
out. I'm here for being a drunk and for being scandalous. 
That's why I don't want to drink anymore because I don't 
want to end up in here. 

This is nothing fun. This doesn't bring anything good 
but the same problems and enemies who want to make 
your life impossible and ruin everything you got in life. 

Now I want to change my life because I don't want to 
make the same mistakes. Now I want something good in 
my life, se new things and change 

Be careful to all who have problems with enemies. 

-Paco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Of course, being here is nothing nice neither to have 
problems with other people. It seems like you are learning for your own 
good. Don't ruin your life. You're still have time to make a change and 
avoid many problems and regrets. You can start living a different life if 
you want— a life full of joy and off of fear that someone will hurt you. 

Mi Padre 

Para empezar, me llamo Marco. Despues de este inflerno 
que estoy pasando no me quedan ganas de seguir en las 

Quiero salir a cuidar a mi papa ya que de tantos corajes 
que lo hice pasar. Ahora el presenta una enfermedad que 
se llama azucar. 

From The Beat: Ahora es tiempo de tu apoyo. De la misma vez como lo 
afectastes, deberfas de buscar la manera como ayudarlo. Ayudalo ahora 
que puedes antes que sea demaciado tarde. 

My Fatiier 

To start this off, my name is Marco. After this hell - where 
I am - 1 don't feel desires of going back to the streets. 

I want to get out to take care of my dad given the fact 
that I made him mad so many times. Now he has a decease 
called diabetes. 

-Paco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It^ time for your support. The same way you affected 
him, you should find a way to help him out. Help him now that you can 
before it's too late. 

Cosas Que Son loiportao 

Creo que hay muchas cosas que nos importan como 
hacer dinero, pero para lograr el dinero creo que lo mejor 
es trabajar. Tambien tienes que pensar en ahorrar para 
un futuro. 

Si tu te lo propones lo puedes lograr y asi tener dinero. 
No es bueno ser abaricioso al dinero. 

Con un trabajo Nuevo, no importa que comiences de 
abajo, puedes lograr mucho hasta Uegar a urguUecer a tu 
familia. Para mi sentirme bien conmigo mismo es lo mas 
importante. Mi madre es lo mejor tambien. 

Eso de andar en la calle y andar de pandillero no 
te Ueba a nada bueno. Solo te espera lo malo para ti, la 
carcel o la muerte. 

Es mejor tener mucho amor a tu propia vida y a tu 
familia. Asi logras mucho en tu vida. Asi es que hagan 
bien y no el mal para lograr mucho en esta vida. 

From The Beat: Estas pensando con la cabeza. Justamente de la manera 
como estas pensando es la manera adecuada a como llegar a ser alguien 
en la vida. Las cosas que vienen con gran efuerzos, son las cosas que 
son bien bendecidas en la vida. ^Entonces como ^ras a hacerte sentir 

Tiiiogs Tliat Are loiportaot 

I think that there is a lot of things we care about like 
making money, but in order to gain money it think the 
better way to do it is by working. You also have to think 
about saving money for a future. 

If you put you mind into it, you will make it and have 
money. It's not good to be avaricious to money. 

With a new job, doesn't matter if you start from the 
bottom, you will fulfill a lot and make your family proud. 
For me, to feel proud about myself is what's important. 
My mother is the best as well. 

Being on the streets and being a gangster will not 
take you anywhere. Everything you will get will get the 
bad, jail or death. 

It's better to have a lot of love to your own life and 
family. That's how you make a lot of things happening in 
your life. So, do good and not bad, so you can make a lot 
of things happen in this life. 

-Alberto, San Francisco 

From The Beat: You're thinking with your head. The way you are 
thinking is the proper way you need to be thinking to become someone 
in life. Things are gained with a lot of efforts, and those things that 
come with efforts are blessed in life. So how are you going to make 
yourself proud? 

Lo Importante 

Lo que es importante para mi es mi familia porque 
ellos todos estan a mi lado para lo que sea. Estan ahi en 
las buenas y en las malas. Me siento feliz de tener a mi 
familia y ser parte de la familia. 

Frim The Beat: Si de verdad tu familia es importante, demuestralo no 
solo con palabras. 

What's Important 

What's important to me is my family because they have 
been always with me through everything. They are there 
for me through goof and bad. I feel happy to have my 
family and be part of it. 


From The Beat: If your family is very important to you, show it not just 
with words. 

Tu Vida Se Acaba En Las Pandillas 

Voy caminando por las calles y veo que mi vida no me vale 
madre porque nomas me la paso teniendo sexo, fumando 
y emborrachandome. No puedo vivir en esta pinche vida 
Debo seguir con mi pandillas. 

Te aconsejo que no entres en pandillas o tu vida se 

From The Beat: Estas viviendo esta vida es porque asi tu lo has deseado. 
Nadie te esta apuntando un arma en la cabeza para que sigas viviendo 
ese tipo de vida. Estu decision! Y sabes donde esta te llebara esta 

Ynn're Life Ends In Gangs 

I am walking by the streets and I realize that I don't care 
about my life because all I do is have sex, smoke and 
getting drunk. I can't live in this damn life. I have to 
continue to be part of my gang. 

I advise you not to get into a gang, or your life will 

-Rey, Marin 

From The Beat: If you are living this life is it because you've asked to 
live like this. We don't see anyone pointing a gun at you to keep doing 
what you're doing. It^ your choice! And you know where this choice will 
lead you too. 


Mi vida ya no fue la misma desde que perdi a mi novia 
Ella se murio en un accidente automovilistico. La extrafio 
mucho. Ya pasaron dos afios y siete meses y aiin la 
extrafio mucho. Ella se Uamaba Silvia. La queria tan to 
que cuando me entere, quise matarme. Gracias a Dios no 
lo hice y espero y algiin dia encontrarla en el cielo. 

From The Beat: Sentimos mucho tu perdida. Esperamos y que este en un 
mejor lugar que este. Aveces las cosas pasan por alguna razon, y tienes 
que acepar la realidad y seguir con la vida que tienes por delante. 

She Left 

My life hasn't been the same since I lost my girl. She died 
in a car accident. I miss her a lot. It's been two years and 
seven months and I sill miss her a lot. Her name is Silvia. 
I love her so much, and when I found out, I thought about 
killing me. Thank God I didn't do it and I hope to find her 
some day in Heaven. 

-Joel, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. We hope her to be in a better 
place wherever she is. Sometimes things happen for a reason and you 
have to accept the reality and continue with the life you have ahead 
of you. 


ino \ 



Que onda? Como esta la raza Catracha? Les voy a contar 
mi historia. 

Llegue a la ciudad de San Francisco, empece a buscar 
trabajo, pero fue diflcil. Me miraba muy niiio y nadie 
me queria dar trabajo. Despues conoci a unos amigos. 
Me empece a Uebar con ellos. Me empecer a meter en 
problemas y pore so llegue a este lugar. 

Cuando saiga, voy a cambiar para no regresar a este 

El Hondureiio, no es Hondureiios es catracho. El rey 
de reyes se llama Jesus Crit. No lo digo yo, lo dice Dios 
en sus escrituras. 

From The Beat: ^.Viste lo que pasa cuando te juntas con malas juntas? 
i,Que es lo que piensas cambiar? Si te llegan a dar otra oportunidad 
aqui, no la desperdicies en las calles. Hay gente que deben depender 
de ti. 


What's up? How's my Honduran people doing? I'm going 
to share my story. 

I came to San Francisco city, I started to look for 
work, but it was hard finding one. I looked very young and 
people didn't want to hire me. Later, I met some friends. 
I started to get into trouble and that's why I ended up in 

When I get out of here, I want to change to never come 

Honduran is not Honduran but a Catracho. The king 
of King's name is Jesus Christ. I don't say it, but in God's 

-Chele, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Do you se what happens when hanging out with the 
wrong crowd? What are you planning to change? If you get another 
chance to stay here, don't waste it on the streets. There are people who 
depends on you. 

Ln Que Siento De Gorazdn 

Yo siento en mi corazon que quiero lo mejor para mi 
hijo, que no entre a la carcel como yo he entrado en este 

Cuando saiga, quiero recuperar todo el tiempo perdido 
y estar junto a mi hijo y mi esposa. Quiero aconsejar a mi 
hijo para que no haga lo que yo hice. 

Tambien quiero ver a mi mama feliz y estar con ella y 
toda mi familia y tener un trabajo para mantener a mi hijo 
y a mi esposa para que no les pase nada. 

From The Beat: Para que eso no llegue a pasar tienes que dar el ejemplo. 
lEstas dispuesto a darle un buen ejemplo a tu hijo? Todo lo que te 
propongas lo puedes cumplir, siempre y cuando lo quieras hacer. Tienes 
gente que dependen de ti, no los desepciones. 

What I Feel From The Heart 

I feel deep inside my heart that I want the best for my son, 
and I don't want him to come to jail like I came to this 

When I get out, I want to get back all the wasted time 
and be with him and my wife. I want to advise my son not 
to do what I did. I also want to be with my whole family 
and have job to be able to support my kid and my wife so 
they won't need anything. 

-Vela, San Francisco 

From The Beat: If you don't want that to happen, you need to set the 
example. Are you ready to set it up for him? Everything you propose to 
do, you can do it if you desire it. You have people who depend on you, 
don't fail on them. 

He Pasado Mucho Tiempo 

A la misma vez yo pienso 

Que te he perdido por andar de mente loco y lento 

Pero ahora vengo con este nuevo talento 

A conquistar tu curazon y tu sentimiento 

From The Beat: Parece que no llegastes 
poema. Terminalo! Suena buena. 

a terminar con tu cancion o 

It's Been A Long Time 

At the mean time 

I think that I have lost you for being crazy and slow 

But now I come with new talent 

To conquest your heart and your feelings. 

-Lil* Mayx, Marin 

From The Beat: It seems like you didn't get to finish your poem or song. 
Finish it! It sounds good. 


Lo que mas me importa es mi libertad. Lo que mas me 
importa es que tengo que cambiar, dejar de hacer lo malo 
que hacia para no volver a este lugar. 

No te imaginas como me siento ahorita que estoy 
aqui, pero primero Dios tengo la fe que voy a salir y voy a 
cambiar para que mi madre se sienta orguUosa de mi y de 
lo que estoy escribiendo. 

No les puedo contar mas porque no tengo tiempo. 
iQue Dios los bendiga! 

From The Beat: Creemos que un cambio es lo mejor que puedes hacer 
para un mejor futuro. iQue es lo que vas a cambiar? 


What I care about most is my freedom. What I care about 
most is to change, to stop doing the wrong stuff so I won't 
come back to this place. 

You don't have an idea how I feel being here, but 
hopefully God, I have the faith that I will get out of here 
and change so my mother feel proud me and what I'm 

I can't share more because I'm out of time. God bless 

-Chelito, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We think a change is the best you can think of to have 
What are you going to change? 

a better future. 

Lo Que Quiero Ser 

Yo quiero terminar la preparatoria e ir a la universidades 
de San Francisco. Quiero tomar un oflcio de Medicina. 
Quiero aprender bien para que ser un professional y 
pueda ganar mucho dinero para mi. Tambien quiero 
estudiar para ser abogado o ingeniero. 

From The Beat: Nos parece muy bien que estes pensando en un buen 
futuro. Cualquier oficio de los que tienes pensado te daran un Buena 
vida. Lucha por uno de ellos o mas. 

What I Want To Be 

I want to finish high school and go to San Francisco's 
university. I want to study in the medicine field. I want to 
learn well, so I can become a professional and gain a lot 
of money for me. I also want to study to become a lawyer 
or an engineer. 

-Omar, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's sounds good to us that you are thinking in achieving 
a good future. Any of those careesr will give you a good life. Fight hard 
to get it. It takes a lot of work! 


es I 

Peor Te Va 

Soy Hondurefio y me siento orgulloso de ser Catracho. Yo 
vine a este pais a trabajar muy duro. Cunado llegue a San 
Francisco, me di cuenta que vendiendo droga se ganaba mas 

Empece a vender droga y ganaba mucho dinero. De nada 
te sirveporque entre mas tienes, peor te va. Solo mira donde 
estas en la prision. La fama no me importa. 

Mis hermanos son sinceros. 

Gracias al Seiior que me dio el aim de un gerrero. 

From The Beat: Y ahora que has aprendido a lo que ese dinero mal 
habido da, cuales son tus planes? ^Cual es la manera de salir adelante? 
^Harfas ese tipo de trabajo otra vez? 

It's Worse For you 

I am Honduran and I feel proud of being Catracho (Honduran). 
I came to this country to work hard. When I came to San 
Francisco, I found out that selling drugs gives you money. 

I started to sell drugs and I gained a lot of money. But it 
is not worth is because the more you got, the worse it gets. 
Just take a look at where you are, in jail. Game isn't all. 

My brothers are sincere. 

Thank you Lord for giving me the soul of a warrior. 

-Luis, San Francisco 
From The Beat: What are your intakes about easy now after realizing 
the consequences it comes with? What's the best way to succeed? Would 
you do the type of "job" again? 


Yo estoy cambiando por mi familia porque mi familia 
siempre esta conmigo cuando mas lo necesitas. 

Mi mama es una mujer muy especial y no porque es mi 
madre sino porque ella es una persona buena y trabajadora. 
Cuando estas abajo, ella siempre te va a ser sentir feliz. 

Mi padre es lo mejor que me ha pasado. Algiin dia quiero 
ser como el porque mi padre es el que me ensefio a ser un 

Mi mujer y mi hija son la unica razon que tengo fuerzas 
para cambiar y para seguir fuerte. 

Nunca voy a regresar a las cosas que hacia antes. Voy a 
estar haciendo lo mejor para mi familia. Ellos se lo merecen 
que yo cambien por ello. Siempre me amaran como sea que 
yo sea. 

From The Beat: Se nota que tienes una gran y bonita familia. Si nosotros 
fueramos tu, no estubieramo aqui. Estubieramos al lado de esas personas 
que nos quieren y a quienes queremos. Ya eres un padre y tienes a tu 
propia familia formada. En esa familia la unica persona que falta eres 
tu. Ten eso en consideracion. Puedes ser ese padre que quieres ser como 
tu padre. jHazIo! 

My Faoiily 

I am changing for my family because my family is always 
there when I need them. 

My mother is very special woman and not just because 
she is my mother but for what she is, a good and hard working 
woman. When you're down, she will always try to make you 
feel happy. 

My father is the best that has happened to me. I want to 
be like him some day because he really taught me how to be 
a man. 

My woman and my son is the only reason and the only 
strength I have to change and to keep fighting hard. 

I'll never go back to the things I used to do before. I'll 

be doing the best for my family. They deserve my change for 

them. They'll always love me the way I am. 

-Jose, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: It^ obvious that you have a beautiful family out there. 
If we were you, we wouldn't be here. We would be next to those people 
who love us and we love. You are now a father, and have your own 
family. In that family the only piece missing is you. You can be the 
father you want to be like your father. 

///////#/////, /// ////#/ //, // //// // 


'HUffTxs naa^ ^/?,' 

My Words Bleed 

My imagination ridiculous 

My inner thoughts untold 

You will never know me 

There's no I.D. to my soul 

Though I play the role 

You swear you know me 

'Cause we conversate on the phone 

You thank you know me 

I'm not the person you thought you 


You, got it all wrong you don't have a 


I'm the mystery in your mind 

That Sherlock Homes can't solve 

I'm that calculus equation 

The one that got you scratching your 

head raw 

We heconte lost in the m/st 

for oMr love tells what the 

fpftPfre Holds 

It's a love, It's a dream, and 

It's a storif mtold. 


The music of the violin 

Plays so softly 

Ears listen intently 

A couple dances to the rhythm 

Robins mingle in the distance 

The sun becomes a glaze of orange 

As it sets in the November sky 

The music of the violin 

Are such lovely tunes 

The music brings me alive. 

Zonked on this poetry 

My mind is above the mountains 

I'm in the mindset of Shelley 

Married to my pen since birth 

The ceremony was extravagant 

The honeymoon 

was a sonic burst 

To twine with my love, is heaven on earth 

She is the tycoon of my imagination 

She is the definition of verse 

Our love burns greater than a Pyrex dish 

We become as liquid lava 

We become lost in the mist 

For our love tells what the future holds 

It's a love, it's a dream, and it's a story untold. 


Dear Beat 

Hey my name is Courtney. I'm half white, half Samoan. I'm 
currently in Humboldt County Juvenile Hall. I've served 70 
days so far, but I'm looking at five more months. I think I 
may be the first to write from here. Well I'll tell you a little 
about me. 

My mom and dad got divorced when I was five. I can't 
even count how many times my house was broken in by 
task force (the police). My dad was an alcoholic and a drug 
dealer. He beat my mom everyday and beat me and my three 
sisters like there was no tomorrow. I remember coming 
home from daycare and he had my mom tied up burning 
her with an iron. 

That's when my mom had enough and left him. She 
took me and my sisters to come to Eureka to live with my 
grandma. We were living in Hawaii at the time. So we moved 
to Eureka stayed with my grandma until my mom left and 
moved with a boyfriend in San Diego. That's when I was 7 
and that was when I took my first hit of weed. I was hanging 
with a group of friends and they pulled out a joint so they 
went around the circle and when it got to me, I took a hit 
and that's when it all started. 

Soon enough I was drinking wine from my grandpa's 
wine box. So my mom came back and moved us to San Diego 
with her boyfriend. Me and my sisters didn't like him, so we 

Our next writer is a first time writer writing to us from Humboldt 
County Juvenile Hall. She genuinely expresses her interest in our 
publication iks she gives her own introduction and lets us know what 
she^ about. We hope this is not the last time we will hear from Courtney 
and Humboldt Juvenile Hall! 

did whatever possible to break them up. Finally they did, 
and my mom got depressed and moved us back to Eureka. 
We moved to these apartments. But my mom continued to 
be depressed so me and my three sisters took care of each 
other we fed, cloth, bathe each other so when I was 11 we 
moved to a different apartment. 

That's when my cousin moved in. She would party 
regularly while she gave me weed and alcohol. I would go 
with my little sister who was 10 to the store across the 
street and steal for my cousin and older sister. When I was 
twelve I started partying, selling, smoking, and drinking. 
Thirteen was when I got locked up for the first time for an 
assault and battery. 

So after that, I started running and doing hard drugs 
like coke, meth, and ecstasy. So I just kept getting locked 
up. So here I am in for assault with deadly weapon and 
deadly attempted. Just kicking back waiting 'till times up. 

I would really appreciate it if you write me back so I can 
show people in here to write The Beat. But hopefully I get 
out and get off probation. 

///////#/////, /// ////#/ //, // //// // 

^I^I^^'^^^ ^^^U., '£{JJ/£L 

'MXCHffBL J^nHXnnE¥' 

Failure And Pain 

I have been a failure for so many times. And in my life 
of being a failure, I have felt so much pain. Pain that I 
brought upon myself. And the reason I am a failure is 
because I never put enough effort and will power in doing 
better or being better. I always point the fingers at others, 
for my reason of being a failure. But it was always me 
being the one who felt my pains of failure. 

And the more I went to paying attention to myself. 
I went to seeing that the reason I was a failure because 
the choices I made. And the action I was making. No one 
put a gun to my head. So all the pain I brought up on 
myself. But time after time, I use to ask myself: Why am 
I a failure? Why do I feel sad about being a failure? Why 
I feel so much pain behind being a failure? Am I going to 
be anything else other then a failure? 

I have strived to become many good things. But I 
always came back to being a failure; and feeling the pains 
of being a failure. But I never gave up. 

Never Bite Tiie Hand Tiiat Feed Ynu 

When I was young, while doing time in prison, especially 
doing time in solitary confinement. I use to always hear 
this old saying. "Never bite the hand that feed you." At 
that time I some what had an idea as to what that saying 
meant. Because I never really took the time out to look 
deeply into what this saying was all about. And I was 
young and wild. I did not care about anything. Never bite 
the hand that feed you. 

And as time went by fast, the years were making me 
a little older and wiser. After spending so many years 
locked down in solitary confinement in a one-man cell, 
this meant I had to depend on the officer for so much. 
But I did not see it that way. I fought against the hand that 
had fed me: my food, mail and everything else. 

If the officers don't bring it I don't get it. And now see 
what they meant. Never bite the hand that feed you. These 
guards are the ones who had to bring my mail. They had 
to bring my legal mail. They had to bring my food. They 
take me to a visit. They bring my personal property. So 
these were the same hands that had to feed me in every 
which way. And this is what that saying never bite the 
hand that feed you meant. Never go against the one's that 
had to look after you. 

Our next writer has been dropping constant icnowledge for the 
longest. Sending us his woric all the way from Union Correctional 
Institution in Raiford, Florida, Michael brings to us everything he has 
learned over the past years. He use to be a hard headed, and sk% he 
states in his upcoming piece "Never Bite The Hand That Feed You," but 
slowly began to open his eyes to the realities of life. And now he has a 
different approach on life and wants to share all the advice he can with 
you readers out there. So don't skip the page iks Michael enlightens you 
with some words of wisdom. 

/ Have strived to hecoffte man^ 
good things, Btft i a I waif s came 
hack to heing a faiinre; and feei- 
iag the pains of Mttg a failure, 
3fft iff ever gave up. 

A Unci! And A Hard Place 

Well life is a rock. And prison is the hard place. I have lived 
a life of a rock. Very hard. And I landed myself in prison, 
which is the hard place. And in this hard place, they will 
make you or break you. Or you can make yourself, or 
break yourself. And no matter how hard one is, they have 
a hard place in prison for all the hard knocks. 

And in this hard place call prison, I have come to learn 
the hard way. That it is not about being hard. It is about 
being smart. If I would have been smart, when I first came 
to prison, things would have not been so hard for me. 

Snffering Gives Strengtii To Go On 

People don't like suffering, but I have learned the hard 
way. That suffering is a way of life, suffering brings the 
best out of me. Suffering have always gave me strength to 
go on in my struggles. 

The more I suffered the stronger I got. There's no way 
around suffering. I just learn how to make my moments 
of suffering, turn out to be something positive. Because 
there are so much to learn and gain from suffering: insight, 
strength, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and so 
much more. But suffering gives me strength to carry on. 



stinking filthy disgusting water 

Molding walls and busted windows 

Canteen once a month 

Food put in a hammock 

Quick showers twice a week 

Locked down except for chow 

In a cell with gangsters and con men 

And wanna be hustlers and smooth talkers 

Believe nothing they say 

Everybody is a bailer 

Everybody is getting money 

But ain't got shhh but themselves 

Believe in you and GOD 

This place is full of wise guys 

A pond full of piranhas 

TVacy, CA. Our long time wri 

This time he writes 

a poem describing the Prison in Ttacy, but not a physical description but 
details of what you'll find there. Everything from liars, to cons Professor 
Blaclcmind tells you what you'll find and what you should stay away 

They tell lies with thoughts full of deceit 

Trust them as far as you can throw them 

This Tracy 

From R and R 

To C Wing 

I can't stand this place 

And this is where I'm forced to live 

This cell is way too small 

And life is way too short 

This is Tracy. 

///////#/////, /// ////#/ //, // //// // 

^T^^wiummff ampf r ' #/////y 

'OB ffnnELH THE 0-Ba¥' 

One Goal 

As a leader there should only be one goal. That goal 
should be to help all of the less fortunate teens like me, 
get an education so we can become productive members 
of society. By helping us get an education, your saving our 
lives' physically, mentally, and emotionally. You will also 
be helping the future of our country. We the teens are the 
future, we are the next president, government, police, and 
army, and if we are not educated and lead right then we 
will lead this country into the ground. Then all the people 
that died for our freedom would have died for nothing. If 
we're not educated, then we won't know how to run this 
country properly. 

I am currently detained in a San Francisco Juvenile 
detention facility. I've been through a whole lot in my 15 
years. I've been shot, I've witness my mom get raped, I've 
sold drugs, I've seen people get killed and I've lived on 
the streets, where I had to do anything to survive. I've 
reached a point in my life where I gave up hope. I didn't 
have a dream or a vision of my future. My mind was 
corrupted, from the TV and all the peer pressure that I 
was receiving. 

I became a product of my environment in a bad way, 
but some how, I managed to pull myself out of the hole 
I was in. I've caught up on my school credits. I've gained 
hope and my mind expanded past money, jewelry, cars, 
and females - (that the TV. planted in my head). I woke 
up. I realized that there is more to life than money and I 
also realized that I let the wrong people lead me and raise 

Now my dream is to go to college to become a criminal 
DA or defense lawyer, and or a civil rights lawyer, but I 
don't have enough money to go to college. So I am going 
to need all the support I can get. 

As a positive leader you should lead me and the rest 
of the mislead teens onto a new life, by contributing to 
save us a spot in college also known as a spot in society. 

"Danger" We Are A Robot To The Systeoi 

Runnin' from a group home for what? So you can get 
trapped again? Don't you see this is all mental slavery? 
I was once a trained robot to the system. Not only the 
criminal system, but the system called poverty to fail. I 
was programmed by the TV, and my neighborhood. 

I use to think that dope was me only way to eat and 
bustin' my gun was the only was to solve my problems, 
but then I finally realized that I'm really only hurtin' my 
own people. 

If you haven't read the book called Roots by Alex 
Hailey then you should and you'll see what I mean. That 
book woke me up. I use to be the worst. I've stabbed, 
watched my mom get raped, witnessed my dad get killed, 
and a whole lot more. So if I can get a clearer perspective 
on life from reading that book, then so can you. 

Slavery is still happening, but this time its more 
underground. They enslave you by the media and 

They show us, jewelry, more cars, and video hoes. 
But that is just all fake. No one lives like that. They put 
it out there, so you and me can fall for it and think that's 
the only key value to life. But it's not. Some one once told 
me, if you want to hide something from a black person, 
then put it in a book. Think on that. Till next time. 

Our next writer is writing to us from Swr\ Francisco^ Juvenile 
Justice Center. We are not sure how he stumbled into the BWO, but 
here he is, so lets hear him out, this week, and hope to see him in 
the POW section in future issues. By the way, D-boy is a good writer 
who isn't afraid to let you know some of the horrific events he has 
seen in his life. But all to show you that no matter what, you can still 
have dreams and goals. Sometimes we get sidetracked by things we 
see in the media, perhaps music videos, reality shows, etc. But D-boy is 
trying to remind his people that money ain't everything. There is more 
to life. And now there is more t 
inspirational pieces of literature. 


This is Deangelo a.k.a. D-Boy. I've been detained for 1.5 
years at SF YGC in the MAX unit. I'm facing 2.5 years in 
Arizona I'm currently writing a book called "When Hope 
Is Lost." I've finished my rough draft and I'm willing to 
share a couple of my exclusive poems that I will have at 
the back of my book. 

I use to work at The Beat Within for 2 days, but I got 
arrested on a 664/187 beef. 

I'm 16 years old, and very educated, it's just something 
that I've had all along but I never realized how educated 
I was/am until I gave up the life. All because of one book 
called "Roots" by Alex Haley. I hope I can reach out to 
all of the homies and wake them up to the reality of our 

I hope I can promote change and when I get out. In 
1 year I would like to come help out at the workshops 
and promote real change. I've been writing The Beat for 5 

"Danger" This Is Reality 

Mentally enslaved 

Walkin' around blind every day 

Addicted to these rap videos 

Like a fiend addicted to them rooks 

But only we don't see 

That this shhh indefinitely 

F-ed up our mind 

So we can keep these prisons filled 

And sum money in toms rocket 

All we is to them is a free meal 

While we sittin' in a cell 

They out there partying like well 

Just cause we live in the hood 

Don't mean we gotta sell dope or rob or pimp 

Instead of killing off our own 

We need to stick together 

And build a powerful community 

By getting an education 

Not for the degree 

But for yourself 

For your mind 

Forget the piece of paper 

And in time 

This will be 

A black nation 

We're all equal 

And there's no traps that you can fall into and die 

Where the media will stop 

With all these fake ass dreams they be sellin' 

And finally we can all go back to 

Regular natural humanity. 

///////#/////, /// ////#/ //, // //// // 

^T^^WT^^mmanmn r , # / / / // / 

'OB ffnneLa th£ a-iia¥ canr.' 

"Beware A Monster Born" 

Promised the good life, but first I gotta sell my soul. 
Only to find out it was all a show. Now deep, deep down 
in the pits of my heart it's turning cold. And it burns 
like steaming hot coals. The steam coming from within 
gets trapped deeper and deeper each time I received a 
devastating blow. Now I've built a side to me that, shows 
people that I'm big and bold. Now a monster is created, 
who is ruthless and cold. He shows no remorse, and has 
no fear because he feels like his day is near. He feeds and 
grows stronger off of abuse and neglect. And as each day 
slowly progresses the good side gets smaller and smaller 
until finally the monster takes over my body, mind and 

Right is wrong and wrong is right, and any one who 
tells him otherwise, better be ready to fight. The monster 
doesn't use the brain, instead he rather re-act insane. His 
eyes are forever red. His muscles are always tense, and 
every word, he takes offense. 

He's self-conscious and tries to fit in, even if it 
involves taking life. If he spots someone who is nice, he 
tries to spread and take over. He will use all his might. 
He's in the dark, and he has a big great bark. He offers a 
lifetime supply of gold but his bite is small as his life. But 
he can't take no bite, unless he grows strong enough in 
your mind. He will then take over and turn you to a life of 
crime, filled with hate, depression, weakness, lies, anger, 
and peer pressure. 

By the way he is best friends with hate, depression, 
weakness, lies, anger and peer pressure are the monster 
as a baby. And it grows, bigger and meaner under control, 
but this next prank was the final straw. I'm sitting in the 
cafeteria and this boy keeps asking me for my apple juice. 
On his third attempt, I get up and walk to the bathroom. 
I drink the juice. And then I take a big piss and fill the 
bottle halfway up. 

Then I put some water from the sink in. I walk back 
out and hand the bottle to the boy and he's so happy that 
he drinks about 1/3 of it in one gulp. As he takes the 
bottle from his mouth, he throws up and starts crying. 
And of course here comes the nurses. They look at me 
and since I have a history of pulling shhh on people, they 
know I did something to this boy. One of the nurses picks 
up the bottle and sniffs it, and she smells piss. 

They call my grandpa and tell him to come pick me 
up. They say I'm not mentally sick and I can't stay in 
the hospital any longer because I'm disrupting the other 
patients, he picks me up later that day. He tells me that 
my grandma is in the hospital getting hip replacement 
surgery, but I'm too happy that I'm out to think about the 
seriousness or what he was saying. 

He was basically saying that he doesn't have legal 
rights over me cause we are not relatives by blood, and 
that its going to be hard for him to take care of me. With 
him going to work and all that, but he'll try his best to 
make it work. 

So everything is going fine until, my mom comes to 
visit. She takes me and we walk right out the front door. 
She got in an argument with my grandpa and she legally 
had the right to take me. And the only thing I remember 
real clearly about what happened later that day was, when 
I called the police and told them that I've been kidnapped, 
and that was that. All the promises she made about having 
a dog, a fat house and a bike were all false. So of course 
my heart was broken... and somehow over time, I learned 
not to trust nobody, not even moms. 

"Nn Tears Left" 

Living a life filled with violence and rape will only 
lead you to one place. And that is insanity. When you 
witness someone you love being raped and abused it does 
something to you. And it starts at confused. But then you 
get beat for crying, and end up feeling like your dying. 

When you're looking for mom's shoulder to cry on, 
you end up getting smacked like a liar. Damn does she 
ever get tired of treating me like a flat tire. Can I get one 
day of peace and food! Without having to worry about 
being abused. 

I got so used to being hit that every time some one 
came close I would flinch. This became apart of me. It 
was like a sixth sense. 

I cried so much that I couldn't cry for months. I just 
stayed to myself absorbing it all in. Until one day at school 
after a visit from my mom. Those emotions exploded like 
a ticking time bomb. 

"I Shonmn't flf 

Sometimes I think that if I didn't care, then I would of 
gotten in a fare share (at life). Maybe if I pretend I wasn't 
hungry. I wouldn't have seen my mother get played like 
a dummy. But my hunger took control. And I ended up 
meeting a troll, whom eyes were as hot as coals and skin 
dark as moles. 

Maybe if I was never born I would still be a pain free 
spirit, who doesn't ever get hungry and lives in a place 
were it never gets dark. Or maybe I would have never 
had to seen this. And my thoughts wouldn't be playing 
over and over in my head like a broken record. And my 
heart wouldn't be torn a part and left looking like its been 
chewed up by a German Shepard. 

But this is just the beginning, as I grow bigger and 
bigger, my problems grow bigger and bigger. This will 
seem like it's nothing. 

Just wait and see my life in chapter 5. Until it becomes 
your whole life, don't let him take over and lead you to 
death. Fight him each day until his death, then finally 
you can live a life of Joy, whose friends with happiness, 
success and a fun life. These are the friends who don't try 
to change you. Instead, they try to help you, by leading 
you to your goals and dreams. 

///////#/////, /// ////#/ //, // //// // 

^I^I^^'^^^^ ^SJ , i/JJJ,iSL 

'UEffff¥ HXnHTaMEff' 

My Frail Old Angel 

one night I had a dream; it left a tale to tell 

I dreamed I saw an angel, poor thing he wasn't doing well 

His body was bruised and battered, his wings were ripped 

and torn. 

I noticed he could barely walk and he looked so tired and worn. 

I walked right up and asked him this, "Angel, how can this be?" 

He turned and paused for a bit. 

Then he spoke these words to me... 

"I am your guardian angel, a great task as you can see 

You've ruined so much throughout your life, look at what 

you done to me 

These bruises are from shielding you, in times of dire ill 

The drugs you used so dangerously, for you I've paid that bill 

My wings you see are ripped and torn, a noble badge I bear 

So many times they've flown for you, from evil unaware 

Each mark has it's own story, of deadly wounds destroyed 

So many times you've made me wish, that I was unemployed 

If only you could make it, simply standing on your own 

Still don't fret or worry my dear, you are never left alone. 

A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing 

I appear to be friendly and loving, but 

Inside I'm treacherous and rotten 

I'll use who ever to get to the top 

Once they're the used are forgotten 

When the heat is on I always seem to comfort you with help 

Although my ulterior motive is to deceive and finish you 

with death 

I always say, I love to give 

And Yet I always take 

I say that everyone should learn to love 

But I'm always showing hate 

My favorite phrase is "Have a heart" 

While my heart has no love left 

The only reason I'll help another 

Is to benefit myself 

I'm puffed with pride and 

I've took advantage with the power I behold 

It's against my religion but 

Yet I still oppress each and every soul 

I say that I want peace 

But I'm the most dangerous thing on this earth 

The only time I'm really happy is 

When other people hurt 

I'll lure you in with open arms 

And a great big ole' smile 

That's only to underhand you later 

'Cause deception is my style 

I appear to be as harmless 

As the sheep out in the fields 

Although I'm sure that it would break your heart 

If you only knew the real 

Who am I? Who am I? 

You still don't know me yet? 

Be patient people you'll soon find out 

But be sure you don't forget 

The more you get to know me 

The more my hand will be unfolding 

Be curious no-more 

For it is me America 

A wolf in sheep's clothing. 

Our next writer is writing to us from South Central Correctional 
Center in Licking, Mo. Jerry has been a solid writer for our 
publication, always coming through with some touching pieces. He 
doesn't often submit pieces but when he does, you can count on them 
being deep, thoughtful, and full of life. In his latest piece "My Frail Old 
Angel", Jerry talks about how much he has hurt himself and his own 
guardian angel, that not only protects him against harm against others, 
but from the harm that he does to himself also. 

The Beat 

How is everything? I want to thank you all for the work 
that you do. Many people wouldn't take time to make 
sure the voices behind the walls are heard. You all are 
the best! 

I've enclosed these poems in hopes that you all would 
print them. I made sure to keep it clean because I know 
that a lot of younger people will read them. Expect to hear 
from me more often then not. I'll close here, but thanks 

Ain't No SoDShine 

Sunny days don't come around no more 

So in the past is where I leave 'em 

The windows in my cell are covered 

And I'm far away from freedom 

America says let freedom ring 

But I still don't hear the bells 

America had me put in cuffs 

And locked up in a cell 

My Christian family always tell me 

Prayer is the answer 

But they know that the last time I prayed 

My grandpa died from cancer 

When worldly dilemma's force my hand 

Who should I confide in? God or man? 

Who can I trust in this cold, cruel world? 

When nobody understands 

Yeah I'm breathing but I'm not alive 

Not living on my own 

Before I let out my very first cry 

My destiny was carved in stone 

I'm in a cage 

My life is now equivalent to a dog 

How the hell am I a slave 

When slavery's against the law 

Man I wish I would've listened 

To the things my mother said 

Instead of running around 

Sagging my pants and being a knuckle head 

Who said all men are equal 

Whoever did he lied 

I suffer pain from discrimination 

And you can see it in my eyes 

The only thing I can call my own 

Is my heart, my soul, and mind 

Even those are being stripped away 

Slowly, but surely in time 

In this dangerous life on this rocky road 

I must move with precision 

Calculate my every step 

And take precautions when making decisions 

I'll never break 

I'll never submit 

The inflicted pain 

I'll never forget 

For my freedom 

I will stay strong 

Cause ain't no sunshine 

When it's gone. 

y^/ffJIff //, // //// // 

'^aHnn¥ a^xnHT' 

The Beat 

Good evening, with seasons greetings from me and many 
fans here at Corcoran Prison S.H.U. With that I want 
to thank you all for continuing to print my poems. Yes 
I just received the volume 13.43 with my work in it. So 
thank you all for your time and kind words. Reading your 
magazine with so many stories it brings one to attention 
on how life is for others lost in the system; whether it's 
in the big house or Y.A. the hall, even on the streets. It 
sharpens the mind to a fine point of which I'm about to 

Us grown men and women, we know the paths we 
took that's in the system. They were wrong most had no 
choice in their life style. For real! But it's those people 
who can help these youngsters out. It's hard to do this 
because in order for a heavy hitter to help, he must get 
his point across. 

And if not worded right there's consequences. Yeah 
I'm one. I'm at this moment in the process of writing and 
as promised I'll be with those words of wisdom soon. 
Here's a little phrase I heard years ago. The last four 
letters in sword spills word. To live and die by the sword 
it's there for us older homies to use. 

Thank you all and God bless. To The Beat I'm 
enclosing two more of my poems. The one titled "Heavens 
for Gangsters Too." Please, I'd like to acknowledge a 
brother because he's entitled to a Christian gangster. A 
once, gang member, constantly swinging that sword to 
get his point across. My brother Samual MuUan. Stay up 

Love and respects... 

Kristy and Nicholas 

Laying on my bed 

With too many thoughts 

Running through my head 

It's hard to really think 

When you're looking 

At some time 

With lots of little things 

Going through your mind 

It starts when you're 

In your cell 

Alone and cold 

Waking up in the night 

Wanting someone to hold 

So you lay back and wonder 

And shed a few tears 

Reality just hit you 

That you're facing some years 

Then you start tripping 

On things from the past 

It's not knowing if your love 

Is really going to last 

I've got this little lady 

Whom I've loved 

From the start 

And see she's got this little boy 

Who really stole my heart 

I know there's some things 

That I forgot to do 

But they took away my freedom 

Before I could see them through 

(And that's to love you girl). 

Our next writer is writing to us from Corcoran State Prison 

in Corcoran, CA. He has " 

now dropping wonderful pieces. Johnny brings a whole different 

dimension to his game Sk% sm OG and retired gang member, sk% he swings 

a mighty sword for another different kind of battle. And that^ a battle 

deep within him-self sk% he tries to educate all you readers with some 


Heavens For Gangsters Too 

Imagine a place 
That's far away 
A home of Christ 
Where gangsters stay 
Even thugs like us 
With troubled past 
Can live in peace 
In a place at last 
God created this turf 
That I speak of 
It comes from our hearts 
And far above 
Think real hard 
And try to vision 
About gangsters doing life 
But not in prison 
They're soldiers of Christ 
In all races 
Coming together 
From different places 
All tattooed back 
With hearts of stone 
This is our place 
That we call home 
With no more hate 
And killing each other 
We're united as one 
Christian Brothers. 


///////#/////, /// 


wm^mn r ' #////// 

'^uf^n txdmbljL s^.' 

The Old Me Pt. 1 

The old me deserves to do life in prison 

The new me, got grace when Christ was risen 

The old me had heart, that was full of corruption 

And often exploded, with violent eruption 

My old heart was hard as nails, and cold as ice 

Condemned to burn in hell, it was running my life 

My thoughts was ugly, and indulged in the flesh 

Made, parts of me ugly and spoiled the rest 

I was, often incapable of feeling my vibe 

Consumed by evil, it was killing me inside 

I burned with jealousy 

I was married to envy 

That would often fuel the fire that would burn within me 

In the world of the dead, is where I called my house 

Where the blind led the blind, and the dead bury their own 

Yeah, the old me deserve to burn, eternally on stones 

But the new me got grace, when Christ went home. 

The New Me Pt 2 

The new me have life, and it's full of love 

Like Christ, it was given from the heavens above 

From my, heavenly father who brings the dead to life 

And circumcises the heart, and fill the soul with light 

The new me lives under God's new law of grace 

Partake in Christ death, and all my sins erased 

I now live my faith, and avoid and hindrance 

And serve the only God, who declare the guilty innocent 

The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob 

Who judged the whole world, and fill the burning Icike up 

I've been set free, from the law of sin and death 

Protect my thoughts from Satan, keep God's armor on my Chest 

In the army of the lord side by side with his troops 

With the helmet of salvation, and the garments of truth. 

The Storm 



Curses are blessing's in disguise 

Storms wash away the veil from our eyes 

Many try to hide, they confide in the wrong sources 

When good and evil collide, don't take sides with 

wrong forces 

This is your storm, for good and evil don't mix 

Unpleasant weather conditions, spirits battle for 


It's a war for your soul, so what side do you pick? 

A storm that you can control, you can be the victim of it 

Invisible to the eyes, but the pain it infiicts 

Can be felt from all angles if we mentally shift 

Back and forth like a ship being rocked by waves 

Unstable in our thoughts double minded in our ways. 

The Storm Pt 2 

Storm can be our enemy, or mans best friend 

That wash away the old, so the new can begin 

But that depends, on how full you choose to see your 


And you're ready for change, and give the old you up 

With storms come pain, the stripping away of the old 

Like fire burning impurities, away from the gold 

The storm is spiritual fork in the road 

Where we choose the destination of our soul 

One must become aware of their own existence 

One outside of themselves with no restriction 

The minds, that's been confined, to the ways of the 


Must no longer give the swine their pearl's. 

Our next writer is a first time writer for our magazine. Juan ik% wr\ 
aspiring rapper and poet. All his poems are religious, but not heavy 
hitting religious. He gets his point across and rhymes every line. A lot 
of laws are drawn from the bible. You don't have to be super religious 
in order for y'all to follow the law. All you have to is stop breaking the 
law, and you will find yourself more stress free and in a more positive 
environment. Sending us some good positive poems from Pleasant 
Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA. Keep them coming Juan! 

Dear The Beat 

Greeting's, my name is Juan Tidwell Sr. I am an aspiring 
Christian rapper and poet. I am enclosing three samples 
of my style of writing (It's a struggle, The old and new me, 
and The Storm) from my book entitled The Diary Of John. 
The Diary of John is a unpublished manuscript. However 
in April of this year I did apply for a copyright with the 
library of congress. I will sign over consent for the use of 
my material if you are willing to work with me. 

I would like to receive a subscription to The Beat 
Within, however, I don't have the means to pay for one 
at this time. Lastly, I was interested in knowing if your 
free writing workshop can be sent to me. I would really 
like to take your course if possible. I prayerfully look 
forward to hearing from you soon, and eagerly anticipate 
contributing to your positive magazine. Thank you for 
your time and consideration. 


It's A Struggle Pt 1 

It's a struggling juggling this everyday life 

Trying to find the courage to fight this everyday Fight 

For my adversary, the beast thrive in deceit 

Always on the prowl, taking the lives of the weak 

Yeah, I'm a Christian, but he can catch me while I'm hurting 

And promise me some answers, in the hard time's while I'm 


Spreading through my body like some cancer while he's 


Surrender to his will, and I'm backsliding again 

But I'll dust myself off and try again 

I won't surrender cause my lord has him beaten 

Trembling in fear, taking his words while he's speaking 

Yeah, something's going to happen like extra burdens 

on my shoulders 

Weighing me down like two ten-ton boulders 

But it's essential I keep my faith 

And thank my lord and savior everyday when I awake 

I'm going to stand fast, and fight the good fight 

'Cause no matter what happens, I'll be a Christian fo' life. 

It's A Struggle Pt 2 

We can't escape this harsh reality, our fiesh is a prison 

Our spirits shackled to our bodies everyday that were living 

Enslaved by our passion and desires when driven 

Seduced by satisfaction until tomorrow has risen 

And where is Christ at this time? 

He's on the back burner simmering 

When hard times hit, that's when we start remembering 

What Jesus said when this pain starts hemorrhaging 

Q: Where shall I go when this pain starts emergin'. 

A: Come to me, son, for I am your surgeon. 

Come to me, run son, escape from the serpent. 

Q: Where shall I go? What path shall I choose? 

A: Don't search for your path, have your path search for you. 

Don't search for my path! I'm afraid I'm confused. 

A: Surrender to my will, and I will show you what to 


I surrender to his will, 'cause Jesus Christ is real 

He has helped me with the hard struggles I fight 

So, no matter what happens, I'll be a Christian fo' life. 

///////#/////, /// ////#/ //, // //// // 

^j/^^wj ummm^ffm r * #// //// 


Nobodir Wants to Hear That Shhli 

What's up, Beat? It's your boy Cain dropping some new 
lines for the end of '08. This piece is for the youngsters 
and anyone else who takes what I put down to heart. I'm 
27 and I'll be 28 in like 5 months. I spent the last 4 years 
in here. Almost all my 20's are gone. These are supposed 
to be the prime years of your life. I faced 25 years with an L 
twice. I don't even have an assault on record, all burglaries. 
In California, 3 strikes can be for petty theft, a nickel of a 
narcotic drug. 

I swim with killers and sharks. I get cut next year, 
but I've spent almost 12 years since Juvie locked up. I 
understand where you guys come from because I've been 
there and experienced a lot for my age. So whatever you're 
going through, keep your heads up. Stay true to the game. 
You don't gotta lay it down for anybody, rivals, COs. You 
don't gotta be the hardest out there. Fights and drama are 
never gonna stop. So handle what you gotta handle. I don't 
let anyone down play me. And people who complain or hard 
time feeling sorry for themselves, I don't chill with. Nobody 
wants to hear some CO talking crap or some 55 year old 
pinto telling you how it's gonna be. 

You're growing men. Think smart. I said it before. Do 
what you wanna do. Just remember every action has a 
reaction. I'm not gonna tell you do this or that because that's 
all you hear all day. For those that feel like they're trapped 
in a struggle, there's always a way to break that bond. Some 
ways are different than others. I'm sure you usually hear 
"give up your lifestyle before it's too late." What I say is if 
you really seek change just give up what makes you fail. 

Our next writer is just dropping some icnowledge for you readers 
out there. Our boy Cain has been a smart man and is aiming at 
shooting some advice to all you younger readers out there. He^ been 
through the game and has gavel 2 years of his life to the system. Now 
he writes to drop Icnowledge and tell everyone to follow your heart. Be 
you. Forget about everything else and the drama that you're surround 
by. Sending us his advice from Salinas Valley State Prison, in Ca drops 
some food for thought! 

I Still got homies in gangs, but a lot just kick it, famous 
tattoo artists, artists, car clubs, and if a fight or situation is 
coming, handle what you gotta handle. If you really believe 
in yourself and what you represent you'll succeed. 

It may not be easy but it is what it is. I plan to follow 
my dreams, rapping, doing this graffiti thing, getting my 
paper. I still smoke weed, but regardless of what someone 
else says, that's a choice you gotta make yourself. It's 
illegal for the most part and if you're slipping you know the 
consequence. If it's too harsh and not worth it; stop. Very 
few people ever make millions slangin' D, or become feared 
or respected a Scarface. Doing time in 3 states I've met 
O.G.'s, shot callers, and some off the wall artists. 

My advice is find out who you are, what you wanna be, 
and follow your heart. I've been blessed and have a second 
chance, more like a tenth chance. I've been able to stay 
true, slang 'em when you gotta, don't get into wrecks, got 
no green light or have someone wanna kill me because I 
snitched 'em off. Feel me. 

So forget what a hater gotta say. Don't rely on anyone to 
take a beef for you. If someone you thought was someone 
you knew and they turned out not to be, and you trusted 
'em, don't give up believing in yourself. 

'LiXLj ' /?ED ffXDxnc Hano' 

Now our next writer is a special guest simply because we don't 
get too many women writing for The Beat With-Out these days. We 
welcome Lil' Red Riding Hood, from The Women^ Correctional Facility 
in Chowchilla, CA. She comes through with skn eerie poem for y'all to 
read. It's a little trippy, but it will get you to think. The poem has dark 
feeling to it. It's about death, but it can also be about life iks the two 
and two go in hand. 

My First Day In Hell! 

The trip originates at the gate of death. Your initial point 
of departure may prove more than a little frightening as you 
suddenly realize the finality of your destination. The trip 
itself will leave you with the little time to contemplate what 

As you pass through the doorway of death, you will 
notice almost immediately that your direction is taking you 
away from the light towards what appears to be complete 
utter darkness. 

With each passing moment the darkness becomes more 
and more intense. At first the absence of light is threatening. 
Then the intensity of the darkness is only matched by the 
absence of any joyful sounds - no music, no laughter, no 
sounds of happiness. 

As you move further into the night, faint sounds of 
moaning and sounds of crying become detectable. They seem 
to be coming through the darkness from every direction. 

You become aware of faint light. It flickers like a flame, 
yet thick clouds of smoke dance all around it, keeping the 
flame from casting off any real hope of light. Suddenly you 
flnd yourself obsessed to know what day and what time is it? 
It already feels like I've been here for eternity. And it's only 
been one day. 

'snijOTSff saj.^' 

Our next writer is sending us some very deep emotions from 
Administrative Segregation aka the hole, inside of a Correctional 

~ ~k. Now we're publishing this piece because he 

very touching »% it < 
It^ not eiks.^ to make that change from doing negative to positive. But 
"■'""■ ' " , so please 

Letting You iinow 

I have a lot of years to do. Because of the choices I have 
made... throughout my life I never really thought about 
all the people I've hurt because of my actions (family, 
friends, etc.). Now as I sit in this 8ft by 10ft cell, which 
is now my home for the next several years. I want the 
change to start now. 

All my I hope is not lost. I still have a chance to get 
it right. I'm not lost yet. I'm a fighter always have been 
always will be. I refuse to give this place (system) my last 
dying breathe or my time. I want to hold my mom again. I 
want to see my grandma smile at me. 

I'm telling you this because someone here gave me 
your volume 13.40 for me to read and on the back of the 
last page really touched me deeply. This is what I really 
need right now positive infiuence in my life. Right now 
I'm just starting my term, and I have no family support, 
I let them all down. So if there's a chance I could receive 
your paper please know it could be the reason I make 
it or lose it. Thank you for listening to me, con mucho 
respecto (with a lot of respect). 



M) iitro 

Hello there! Well, here I am. About time also. I have planned 
on writing The Beat Within for quite some time now, but 
I've procrastinated for one reason or another. I could list 
dozens of reason. Some would be valid, but most simply 
excuses. So I'll leave that alone. 

This is my first time writing The Beat Within and hope 
to write more in the future. After all, I have nothing but 
time. (Ha! Ha!) Yes, I laugh and joke about it. Why? Because 
they may have taken my freedom, but I refuse to let them 
take my sense of humor. 

On December 21, 2008 I will have been incarcerated for 
five years fiat. Fifty-five months of that I spent fighting my 
case in the county jail. A charge I was assured to be found 
guilty of, because of a court appointed attorney who did 
absolutely nothing necessary to prove my innocence. 

My attorney's ineptness was astounding. His 
ineffectiveness blatant. Yet, the judge refused to dismiss 
him at three Marsden hearings. He filed no motions, called 
no witnesses at my trial, and did all he could to get me 
convicted. Why because he was mad at me. When I saw he 
was doing nothing necessary to ensure I received a fair 
trial, I began writing other attorneys seeking help. 

When he learned of this he became angry, even hostile 
toward me. He in fact "told" me "he was going to do nothing". 
Nothing but his best to get me convicted. When I told the 
judge this he basically called me a liar. His exact words 
were, "I've known Mr. W for 26 years, and don't believe he 
would say something like that." That saying alone showed 
bias and prejudice on the judge's part. 

At the trial the District Attorney took five-and-a-half days 
to present their case. When it was time for my attorney to 
present a defense, all he did was call the DA's investigator 
to the stand, ask him five questions, and say "The defense 
rests." That's it! That's all! So basically I had no trial. 

I was stuck with an inept attorney. The judge would not 
allow me to dismiss, an attorney who would not use the 
"peremptory challenge" to dismiss my biased judge. Yep, I 
was caught between a rock and a hard place, in a system no 
longer about guilt or innocence... only conviction. 

I cannot blame the jury for their decision. Had I have 
been on my jury I would have found me guilty. Now it is 
up to the Appellate Court to decide if I received a fair trial, 
or if ineffective assistance of counsel caused my trial to 
be a farce and a sham. So here I sit in the State Prison in 
Tracy, California. Five months and ten days into an 80 to 
Life sentence. This Christmas (2008) will be my sixth in a 

Our next writer is a first time writer out of Deuel Vocational 
Institution in Tracy, CA. and pretty damn good one! We have a 
special treat for y'all Sk% he delivers his own introduction and tells 
us how his trial got mishandled. He wrote a poem and a prose. For 

in its normal continuous form, without the rhythmic or visual line of 
structure of poetry. It^ a beautiful piece of writing sk% "Yesterday^ Return 
Engagement" is filled with all the wonderful feelings and negative 
feelings that past memories can bring. And then you start thinking a 
bout a future that isn't there, when you have nothing but time to look 
forward to. He then brings little humor to the page with a Christmas 
Cheer poem, which is better late than never. Welcome JRP! 

row behind bars, and will be my sixth in a row behind bars, 
and easily a couple more waiting on the appellate court to 
make a decision. 

Reception in prison is bad enough, but we get to spend 
Christmas this year locked down. Not Cool! Thanks to some 
idiots and their "gangbanger" mentality. They dropped out 
of one gang only to jump into another. Now that truly shows 
a lack of intelligence mixed with a generous amount of 
immaturity and insecurity. 

The lethargic atmosphere, of a receptions center's 
monotony, drips melancholy and its vapid environment. 
Leaving one to wallow in memories or contemplation of 
the future. Neither of which proves conducive to a positive 
frame of mind. 

I am including with this letter one poem (Christmas 
Cheer), and one piece of prose (Yesterday's Return 
Engagement) I wrote . I believe all those relegated to the 
realm of incarceration will be able to relate personally to 

The poem, Christmas Cheer is meant to be "informative" 
rather than "negative." More about "feelings" than a "frame 
of mind." Will I celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus? 
Yes, to both. I have even made me a Christmas hat with Holly 
berries and leaves, candy canes and snowfiakes I drew and 
colored on it. It's Christmas in prison a happy experience? 
Most definitely, no! However, that does not mean I can't 
enjoy and celebrate it to the best of my ability. 

The piece of prose, "Yesterday's Return Engagement," 
is self explanatory. Memories play a big part in the world 
of doing time. Although this piece of prose came from my 
inner being, I believe that most (if not all) who read it will 
be able to wrap their minds around its contents. 

I will bring this (my first) submission to a close. I wish 
all a sense of peace. Remember, happiness is all about 
perception, and joy is only a though away. 

May God bless you and your loved ones throughout the 
upcoming New Year. 

Christmas Cheer 

A big bah humbug 
This I have to say 
It's with the Grinch 
That I want to play 
Shoot Santa Clause 
Fry the reindeer 
My Christmas spirit 
Isn't Christmas cheer? 
There's not a thing merry 
About where I am here 
I'm surrounded by concrete 
Are my feelings very clear? 
These doors made of steel 

Hide the world from sight 

I hope Christmas Eve 

Fills you full of fright 

May your stockings be filled 

With big lumps of coal 

I hope your Christmas stinks 

And all your presents are stole 

On this Christmas Day 

I will really be pissed 

'Cause I'll be amorous as hell 

And won't even be kissed 

I won't have any presents 

Under a Christmas tree 

So to all you merry souls 

Be glad that you are free. 

///////#/////, /// ////#/ //, // //// // 

^T/^^^Mmm Bumn /' j^//// '^ 

'UEF-F-ffB¥ ff. f'ffXCB iinnr' 

Yesterday's Return Engagement 

Memories... paint my life as a terrifying portrait; A horrifying 
picture. A book whose landscape is a barren environment, 
dotted by trees of pain wilting in the shadows of despair, 
and fed by the water of sorrow. 

Memories... a disembodied whisper in remembrance of 
bad times- the good moments rare and far between in the 
chapters' of my life. The rare good word within incomplete 
sentences, crowded out by paragraphs of pain and sorrow 
vying for supremacy in the pages of my existence. 

Memories... a legacy of loss and grief in their ineffable 
weariness. A place marked by the absence of tomorrow, 
wherein today lingers in melancholy, and my future has 
caught fire and is burning. 

Memories. ..prowling in the marrow of the past, searing 
the bleakest chambers of my heart. Thoughts like agitated 
moths swooping and fluttering through my mind seeking 
light in my darkness. 

Memories... a mad spiral and plummet onto a rock of 
hard reminiscence. Thoughts flayed layer by layer, ranged in 

the bowels of my being, ticking away like dark demons 
hanging heavily in my mind's data bank. 

Memories . . . leaving feelings eviscerated like a black hole 
in my chest. Emotions boiling within my heart, as thoughts 
roil across the plains of my mind, existing precariously on 
the edge. 

Memories. ..lie a mischievous childhood playmate, 
taunt me from hiding place after hiding place, in a deep 
well of past dappled by shades of anguish. 

Memories... somewhere earlier; standing before the 
mirror of madness within. Passing through my own 
reflection of lunacy silvered by misery; I'm lost somewhere 
deep inside myself. 

Memories... emotional urges pitted against an 
unyielding past. The force of emptiness, enhancing the 
barrier of horrible recollection, balanced against the threat 
of potential disaster. 

Memories. ..blindfolded to the future, linked to the 
past. A probability of choices. ..inflnite... while time passes 
finitely and acutely. A fate not entirely of my choosing... 

Chained by others' deeds. 

Memries, , .paint wif life as a terrififing portrait; A horrififing picture. 

A Flicker Of Faith 

Devious thoughts continuously flicker through my 


It's been a rough journey but I will conquer the hands of 


The sandman is nearing I can hear his blissful songs 

Like the sounds of gurgling water when taking hits from 

the bong 

Caressing the huka with malicious intent 

Repacking the bowl with each one that is spent 

Like cartridges that flre then fall to the ground 

You must reload the clips or risk being chopped down 

For life is a struggle in the times of today 

Even though I'm locked up, with my life's time I continue 

to pay 

Dancing images of snarling faces bounce around in my 


Fearing if I turn my back on them I might end up dead 

So I continuously face them night after night 

Loosing my sanity unsure of what's wrong or right 

Am I coming or going of this I'm unsure 

But still I continue in search of a cure 

I hear the screams of my veins 

From their hunger pains the screams are so loud 

I'm driven further insane 

With no place to run no safe shelter in sight 

I pick up my pillow and cover my head so tight 

In hopes of smothering my veins and all their shrieking 


To try and cease the yelping of the devils blood hounds 

Then as quick as they came the silence did too 

It's a trip what having a little faith in the lord can do 

So switch up your thinking before its too late 

And before you know it lil' homey you'll walk through 

them gates 

And once again be free then what will you do 

To keep it real lil' homey it's all up to you. 

''nxn ^^^¥^7' 


Valley State Prison in Coalinga, CA. We welcome Big Paya, who 
actually came across our publication by mistake, or by fate. Either of 
the two, we are 
with "A Flicker of Faith.' 

Mif curiositif got the hest of me 
so i hegan to read some of the 
poems. Then a few more, 'tiii / 
had read aii the poems. 

Dear Beat Witliin 

Ok real quick. I came across your magazine by accident 
when someone slid a copy of your magazine up under 
my puerta (door) by mistake. It was actually meant for 
the cell next to mine. Unaware at first of its contents I 
opened up expecting a kite to be hidden within its pages 
but I came up short. 

My curiosity got the best of me so I began to read 
some of the poems. Then a few more, 'till I had read all 
the poems. I then jotted down your address to try and 
see if you guys would start sending me some of my own 

I also have included a poem of my own just to see if 
it could make it on to your pages' vacant lines. Well only 
time will tell que no? 

Other than this, I just want to say gracious for doing 
what you do and with that said I'm gone as I came con 
puro respeto(with all respect). 

Memories... blindfolded to the future, 
linked to the past. A probability of 
choices... infinite... while time passes 
finitely and acutely. A fate not entirely 
of my choosing. . . 

read the rest of Jeffrey R. Price's BWO piece on page 70